Developments in French automobile strategy - Bye,bye Diesel
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Thread: Developments in French automobile strategy - Bye,bye Diesel

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Developments in French automobile strategy - Bye,bye Diesel

    France went diesel to cut fuel consumption and to utilise the diesel available from petrol refining. It enabled the engine makers, particularly PSA to patent key features of small diesel pollution control and to build a strong competitive advantage by supplyng their engines to a variety of car makers. With Ford and their expertise in lightweight iron castings they dominated the market for diesel mid size engines.

    The scene has changed technically and politically.

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    The tightening of the pollution targets in Europe has resulted in a better cost/benefit for the smaller city cars by using a 2-3-4 cylinder, turbo, variable valve geometry, petrol engine under 1500cc.

    Today 70% of the French fleet is diesel powered and the surplus of diesel has long since vanished. As it was being imported from Russia and Russia has been using energy supplies as an economic weapon, there is now a driver to reduce dependence.
    City air pollution is a concern, particularly for the Greens, who are important to the fragile socialist government. Diesels, especially the older ones contribute heavily to the particulate pollution with its adverse health effects.

    The move to diesel was driven by tax management which made it substantially cheaper at the pumps and that combined with lower consumption more than offset the higher intitial costs of the cars.

    Now the government is having great difficulty meeting the EU demands for budget constraint through structural reforms and is threatened with a 100 day deadline before sanctions are considered. A good time to be looking for more tax revenue.

    Valls, the Prime Minister, says that diesel was a mistake and now is the time to phase it out.
    So he is proposing an substantial increase in diesel tax to make it dearer than petrol. He is also proposing a 10,000 euro bonus to those who exchange a diesel car older than 13 years for a 100% electric.

    So there is a push by the manufacturers to move small car buyers back in petrol and an overall strategy by the government, national and local to move people out of IC powered private vehicles with an emphasis on urban air pollutants, not just CO2.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Well, we wish them all the best, I'm sure. Why the French don't just tax all vehicles off the roads I don't know. That would seem to really solve their pollution problem.....In other countries they would solve their pollution problems by voting the Green parties out of power......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    This has been coming for a while; it will be interesting to see how Germany shapes up too - I believe they suffer the same on-costs of imported fuel without the added economic arm-twisting.

    And of course, from that point, where the "Diesel's European, so it must be superior" Krautwagen arsekissers will go locally, when their next X6 is offered with a force-fed 1.6 petrol or 1.3 litre hybrid...

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    is offered with a force-fed 1.6 petrol
    VAG are pretty well going that way now. Supercharger + turbocharger + high pressure petrol injection on "downsized" engines.

    I can tell you first hand the technology really works and the power band is flat as tack and a there is no lack of performance from the smaller engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    VAG are pretty well going that way now. Supercharger + turbocharger + high pressure petrol injection on "downsized" engines.

    I can tell you first hand the technology really works and the power band is flat as tack and a there is no lack of performance from the smaller engines.
    Time will tell how good this new technology is when the cars are 5 to 10 years old and with 100,000 Km or 200,000 Km on the odometer and the unforeseen problems start to occur.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Companies that have been making their own diesel engines alongside their petrol engines now have an amazing amount of engineering expertise. A petrol engine can be pumped up power wise a lot before the internal loadings become anywhere near those of a diesel, so I'd imagine that longevity can be built in without any problems.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Companies that have been making their own diesel engines alongside their petrol engines now have an amazing amount of engineering expertise. A petrol engine can be pumped up power wise a lot before the internal loadings become anywhere near those of a diesel, so I'd imagine that longevity can be built in without any problems.
    I wasn't concerned so much about the internal components of the engine, but more about the turbo/supercharger control gear and sensors.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Time will tell how good this new technology is when the cars are 5 to 10 years old and with 100,000 Km or 200,000 Km on the odometer and the unforeseen problems start to occur.
    Most VAG vehicles can be purchased with a 2 year extension (+$1200 in my case) to the standard 5 year unlimited distance warranty. They extend the roadside assist as well.

    Now in the cycle of new car purchase I'll change the car over at around 5 years.

    10 years is approaching the practical life of a modern vehicle.

    Most other marques suffer expensive out of warranty repairs and failure of engine/ suspension components. Just read about the HDI diesels. dual mass flywheels etc etc on this forum.

    I can tell you the new technology is good from the point of view driving (flat power band), fuel efficient (last highway drive 5.5 L/100km) and performance (132kw from 1.4 litres).

    It's also good from environmental point because most of the cludgy re-circulation and vacuum systems are absent. They have been replaced by technology which brings the core engine up to temperature within a few hundred meters of starting. So the exhaust by products aren't there in the first place - hence no pollution gear is required.

    What price do you pay up front and in service costs (or are you prepared to pay) for a vehicle that has enough performance and driving dynamics to be enjoyable to drive. Yet complies with a environmental regs and is still fuel efficient?

    To my mind it about trade-offs and service costs are one of the trade offs I'll accept.

    The VAG dual charger technology has around since 2007 and is now used in many small engines. I don't see a trail of VAG vehicles on the roadside scrapped due to expensive repairs (well no more than vehicles with AL4s). Which suggests it's a fairly mature technology.
    Last edited by robmac; 1st December 2014 at 10:12 AM.

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    This 10 year life is something I won't accept. I keep my cars 20 years, and one was kept for 33 years (and I still regret disposing of it). Changing cars at 5 years (or less) is losing too much depreciation for my economics - I've never been able to figure out those who do it. I also worry about the expense of turbochargers in the long term, and wouldn't buy a small car with one (any more than one with an auto). The C5 is enough risk.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    This 10 year life is something I won't accept. I keep my cars 20 years, and one was kept for 33 years (and I still regret disposing of it). Changing cars at 5 years (or less) is losing too much depreciation for my economics - I've never been able to figure out those who do it. I also worry about the expense of turbochargers in the long term, and wouldn't buy a small car with one (any more than one with an auto). The C5 is enough risk.
    This 10 year life is something I won't accept.
    It's the "economic" life. Accept it or not that's the way cars are heading. Home repairers (while it still legal!) will extend the life considerably.

    Changing cars at 5 years (or less) is losing too much depreciation for my economics
    Probably for me too, but around five years I'll make a decision based on likely service costs and current change-over values.

    The economics are pretty basic, shell out the dough, for the convenience of having someone else being responsible for all component failure and labor and someone to come out get the car working wherever you are.

    I also worry about the expense of turbochargers in the long term, and wouldn't buy a small car with one
    Good luck. This way auto technology is going you might not t have a choice. Possibly best to stick with your C5 for another 33 years.

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    Rob, in 33 years I will be very stationary indeed. I only want the C5 to last as long as I do.

    If you calculate the depreciation loss in a regular 3 or 5 year car changeover, you will severely reduce your make and model options. You probably won't buy anything European.

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    The five pot VAG diesels used to eat camshafts and crack exhaust manifolds ($600+ wholesale, IIRC), not sure if this has improved - and the auto boxes (which did fail often enough) were far more costly to fix than AL4s.

    Accessibility to reliable cars over (say) six years of age for the lower income population is something where I feel increasing concern. It's one thing to put on a secondhand head if you run the timing belt too long, but what if overheat and a seized turbo occurs - as the motor usually needs damn near complete stripping to remove all the crispy oil flakes? VE onwards Alloytec engines are already showing the signs of knucklehead owners who think they can treat it like a red six in terms of maintenance. Soon as our rego checks require a suite of photos including the dash, and fail vehicles on service lights that don't extinguish, these cars will be written off.

    The accident I stopped for last week, involved a driver suffering what my mother always called "genteel poverty". The car was registered, it's front two tyres were below the wear limit, underinflated, it was scuffed and dinged, totally uninsured, yet the owner lived in a townhouse in the northern suburbs. Seven years old, the car - driver had bought it on the advice of her trusted mechanic. I'd wager it had eighteen month old oil in the motor. That sort of abuse is simply not going to be possible, and I don't foresee any level of "charitable" assistance towards maintaining mobility for retired and low income people (this includes such vocations as carers).

    I feel we are heading for a clash of new technology and social affordability as the vehicles age... There is a way forward; it is unlikely to be executed as it would require governments with a spine: To roll back the silly abuse of statutory write-off laws, to mandate accessibility to service and repair data, to agree on universal standards for repair items (like the TÜV regs for body parts) and thus enable people to safely and accurately maintain cars with a level of economic accessibility. The fact of employing more people locally, is a small side benefit.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I reckon we could put a lot of cars off the road very simply and quickly. In the spirit of community welfare how about some legislation to provide for the following:

    Every vehicle's registration number is hooked into a database, so why not it's service history?

    Services for each registered vehicle, when carried out would be notified to the States registration departments and those vehicles that are not current (ie. over 30 days past expected service date) get a please explain letter.

    After another 30 days with no satisfactory response another letter is sent to the owner requiring the vehicle to present at a roadworthy establishment for inspection of among other things the ODO reading and the owner's honesty.

    Another 30 days after that the vehicle is de-registered if no service or satisfactory explanation received during the three month period. Traffic cameras would help enforce deregistration and add further to the non compliant owner's fines.

    The above scheme would not only improve air quality, but road safety and employment levels.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I reckon we could put a lot of cars off the road very simply and quickly. In the spirit of community welfare how about some legislation to provide for the following:

    Every vehicle's registration number is hooked into a database, so why not it's service history?

    Services for each registered vehicle, when carried out would be notified to the States registration departments and those vehicles that are not current (ie. over 30 days past expected service date) get a please explain letter.

    After another 30 days with no satisfactory response another letter is sent to the owner requiring the vehicle to present at a roadworthy establishment for inspection of among other things the ODO reading and the owner's honesty.

    Another 30 days after that the vehicle is de-registered if no service or satisfactory explanation received during the three month period. Traffic cameras would help enforce deregistration and add further to the non compliant owner's fines.

    The above scheme would not only improve air quality, but road safety and employment levels.
    How would you implement such a scheme for those that do their own servicing at home, such as those people that own classic or vintage cars?
    Regards Col

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I am quite sure he's stirring the pot, Col!
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    We are talking about cleaning up the air and improving road safety. Classic and vintage cars aren't likely anytime soon to become paragons of clean exhaust emissions, whether serviced professionally or at home. As long as they were built prior to the introduction of Australian Emissions laws, carry on as before, same for Veteran owners, but a classic or vintage car that was built after the introduction of the emissions legislation can be put off the road for non compliance now, without any extra legislation.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I am quite sure he's stirring the pot, Col!
    Yes i know he is, so was I.

    Cause I know a scheme like that would never get of the ground here.
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    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    The way the French alter legislation to provide outcomes is well known, and when draconian enough it works. Australian governments do the same but currently have different priorities. There are too many un-roadworthy, unsafe, badly maintained, emissions spewing vehicles on the roads in Australia.

    Cars travel in opposing directions a few feet apart on dodgy roads with little margin for error. Aeroplanes fly in the wide blue sky and have to be separated by 1000 feet minimum. There are more people killed on the roads in car collisions than there are in aircraft crashes by a huge factor. The difference is that GA aircraft have to be serviced by registered and qualified mechanics, whilst cars can be serviced by anyone who says he/she's a mechanic (or not). It's time to get professional with car servicing......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I know you're watching, Graham......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    The way the French alter legislation to provide outcomes is well known, and when draconian enough it works. Australian governments do the same but currently have different priorities. There are too many un-roadworthy, unsafe, badly maintained, emissions spewing vehicles on the roads in Australia.

    Cars travel in opposing directions a few feet apart on dodgy roads with little margin for error. Aeroplanes fly in the wide blue sky and have to be separated by 1000 feet minimum. There are more people killed on the roads in car collisions than there are in aircraft crashes by a huge factor. The difference is that GA aircraft have to be serviced by registered and qualified mechanics, whilst cars can be serviced by anyone who says he/she's a mechanic (or not). It's time to get professional with car servicing......
    And just about anyone can get a license to drive after doing a few basic maneuvers at below 10Km/H.

    Then when they do get their license they do not bother to keep up with the changing road rules.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    You mean, they change?

    As an aside, when you receive your re-registration invoice, surely it wouldn't be too much to expect to have included any amendments or additions to your local road laws?

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but as there is not one person, legal or otherwise in the country that knows all of them, there would appear to be something wrong with that premise......
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 1st December 2014 at 02:34 PM. Reason: addition...
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Rob, in 33 years I will be very stationary indeed
    You and me both SS.

    You probably won't buy anything European.
    I did, and came in mid $20's too.

    Anyway I intended to spend the kids inheritance on something that I enjoyed driving. While I'm still competent to do so.

    The day I feel uncomfortable behind the wheel is the day I'll stop driving. Too many f***kwits around not to be alert enough to dodge them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    We are talking about cleaning up the air and improving road safety. Classic and vintage cars aren't likely anytime soon to become paragons of clean exhaust emissions, whether serviced professionally or at home. As long as they were built prior to the introduction of Australian Emissions laws, carry on as before, same for Veteran owners, but a classic or vintage car that was built after the introduction of the emissions legislation can be put off the road for non compliance now, without any extra legislation.
    I would have thought that vehicles on club reg would be pretty well exempt the vehicle from the most of the environmental regs ?

    And being driven a month a year shouldn't harm the environment too much.

    Perhaps you should be talking to Creative (accounting) Clive and to get his lacky Ricky on the case.
    Last edited by robmac; 1st December 2014 at 03:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    The way the French alter legislation to provide outcomes is well known, and when draconian enough it works. Australian governments do the same but currently have different priorities. There are too many un-roadworthy, unsafe, badly maintained, emissions spewing vehicles on the roads in Australia.

    Cars travel in opposing directions a few feet apart on dodgy roads with little margin for error. Aeroplanes fly in the wide blue sky and have to be separated by 1000 feet minimum. There are more people killed on the roads in car collisions than there are in aircraft crashes by a huge factor. The difference is that GA aircraft have to be serviced by registered and qualified mechanics, whilst cars can be serviced by anyone who says he/she's a mechanic (or not). It's time to get professional with car servicing......
    I think a Roadworthy every five years prior to re-registration would not be a bad idea. It may force the owners of some of the vehicles I see to at least inflate/ replace tyres, replace wiper blades or fix the door locks so they can use the driver's door.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    The five pot VAG diesels used to eat camshafts and crack exhaust manifolds ($600+ wholesale, IIRC), not sure if this has improved - and the auto boxes (which did fail often enough) were far more costly to fix than AL4s.
    "Used (to)" be the operative word. You are talking more than ten year old technology. Didn't have the benefit of the newer oils and hard chrome coating et al. For a major component $600 is par for the course.

    I feel we are heading for a clash of new technology and social affordability as the vehicles age...
    IMHO it's the demographic that buys clunkers. They need a car to function and work.
    The type of vehicle many drive are the dregs that are sold to the trade on the promise "the buyer will get the RWC" with 6 months reg why bother ?
    The rego branch won't catch the itinerant by that time and cost of the car is the value of petrol in the tank and rego anyway.

    With a Korean car for $15k new these will become the clunkers in time.

    I'm not judging but if it's between food or smokes and car maintenance the Smokes will win as long as car still drives.
    Last edited by robmac; 1st December 2014 at 03:36 PM.

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