We look at the real emissions – Hydrocarbons, NOx and CO – of the winners of this week’s What Car Green Car Awards.
Earlier today we did a round-up of this year’s What Car Green Car Award winners. Which many find of interest as they believe the right thing to do is buy a car with low CO2 emissions.
Regular readers will know that we are not impressed with the obsession with CO2 and want Governments to stop taxing motorists based on the nonsense that CO2 is harmful, and instead base taxation and future objectives for the car industry on what really matters – emissions from cars that are detrimental to health.
So we thought we’d have a look at this year’s Green Car Award winners and compare them to a car few would consider a paragon of clean emissions – the manual Porsche 911 Carrera. But first a quick explanation of the figures we’ll be comparing.
Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide reduces the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity, which can reduce availability of oxygen to key organs.
NOx: Oxides of nitrogen react in the atmosphere to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which can have adverse effects on health, particularly among people with respiratory illness. NOx also contributes to smog formation, acid rain and can damage vegetation.
Hydrocarbons: Hydrocarbons contribute to ozone formation. Some kinds of HCs can also be carcinogens and they are also indirect greenhouse gases.
Frankly, we’re not interested in the so-called Greenhouse effect of any of these emissions. What concerns us is the impact on health of these emissions. So below you will find the cars which won awards at this week’s What Car Green Car Awards and the levels of CO, NOx and Hydrocarbons emissions they have. But first – as a guide – we’ll list the level of emissions of the Porsche 911 for comparison:
Porsche 911 Carrera manual – 224 mg/km
Fiat 500 1.2 Pop – 425 mg/km
Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion 5dr – 359 mg/km
Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion – 355 mg/km
BMW 320 ED – 485 mg/km
Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi 110 Active – 340 mg/km
Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Visia Pure Drive 2WD – 421 mg/km
Honda CR-Z 1.5 i-VTEC Sport – Figures not available yet
Jaguar XJ 3.0D V6 Luxury – 544 mg/km
All of which means that on emissions that really matter – those that are detrimental to human health – even the best of the bunch – the Peugeot 5008 – is 50% more polluting than a Porsche 911. The worst – the Jaguar XJ – has almost 2.5 times the emissions of the Porsche 911.
The truth is that all these emissions are far more important than CO2, but they don’t fit in with Government thinking. CO2 emissions have been a bonanza for Governments as they seek to tax the motorist based on the CO2 emissions of their car. And that is almost palatable for the motorist – who has been mislead about the ‘damage’ CO2 does – as it’s the bigger, more expensive cars which emit most CO2.
But when you get to the root of the real emissions, it’s the diesels that pose the problems. A high efficiency petrol engine has far fewer emissions. And how can you tax the man who drives the Fiat 500 1.2 twice as much – because his car is twice as polluting – as the man with the 911?
The answer is, you can’t (well, not easily). So we will continue to be taxed on the spurious CO2 emissions, and not on the harmful NOx, CO and HydroCarbons. Despite those emissions being damaging to health.