If you haven’t had your head under a rock lately, you’ve seen the headlines. Here, let me get you fully up to speed on the latest:
Diesel recall: which cars are affected, will my MPG decrease, and should I still buy a diesel?
Volkswagen reaches deal for remaining 80,000 Dieselgate vehicles
FCA accused by EPA of failing to disclose software allowing excess diesel emissions
Now I’m not here to postulate the hows and whys any given manufacturer has chosen to use any so-called “defeat devices” or point any fingers of blame, but I will speculate that the diesel engine isn’t doomed or disappearing anytime soon. While I personally prefer the sound and response of an old-fashioned, naturally aspirated gasoline V8, Rudolf Diesel definitely invented the workhorse of the IC engine world back in the late 1800s and it’s hard to not appreciate it for what it is. Its prevalence globally in passenger cars is significant, but it’s even more prolific when you look at how many are used for on-highway medium and heavy-duty trucking applications, off-highway usage, marine, industrial, etc. It’s everywhere!
So we currently face some very difficult challenges to reduce harmful emissions within required limits with governments worldwide constantly tightening those limits. It’s a very difficult problem to address, but it’s not in our nature to just back down from difficult problems, pack up our toys and go home! We engineers want to help solve those difficult problems, don’t we! In the long term, that may mean finding a suitable replacement for the IC engine (there’s plenty of activity in this area right now and, undoubtedly, more coming), but in the short term this means working smarter with better tools to reduce the output of harmful emissions, improve the performance (power) and efficiency (fuel economy), reduce the size/weight and reduce the cost of the diesel engine. Read more