L-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen fit-toroq Maltin

BBC.VW cheating

 

In-numru ta’ karozzi fit-toroq tagħna hu wieħed kbir, anzi hu kbir ħafna. It-toroq ma jesgħux daqstant karozzi tant li f’xi ħinijiet dawn ikunu ġġammjati bħalma rajna dal-għodu, issa li reġgħu bdew l-iskejjel. Skond iċ-ċifri uffiċjali, sa l-aħħar ta’ Ġunju fit-toroq tagħna kellna 340,981 karozza, inkluż dawk ta’ użu kummerċjali. Jiġifieri 802 karozza għal kull 1000 ruħ li hawn f’Malta u Għawdex.

Hemm ħtieġa li jonqsu l-karozzi fit-toroq. Dan jista’ jseħħ biss kemm-il darba t-trasport pubbliku jagħmel il-qabża tant meħtieġa fil-kwalità, biex ikun użat iktar u b’hekk joffri alternattiva kredibbli u prattika għall-użu tal-karozzi privati.

Sadanittant bosta jibqgħu jagħmlu użu minn karozzi privati, b’numru li qiegħed dejjem jiżdied u li qed ikompli jħassar il-kwalità tal-arja ta’ pajjiżna. Il-posizzjoni dejjem qed tmur għall-agħar meta uħud minn dawk li jimmanifatturaw il-karozzi, minn fuq, jabbużaw mill-posizzjoni tagħhom.

Fi tmiem il-ġimgħa li għaddiet tħabbar li l-Iżviżżera waqqfet temporanjament il-bejgħ tal-mudelli tal-karozzi li jaħdmu bid-diesel li tipproduċi l-Volkswagen u li sal-lum hu magħruf li huma effettwati mill-iskandlu tal-emmissjonijiet moħbija. L-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen.

Il-karozzi effettwati, mudelli li jaħdmu bid-diesel li ġew immanifatturati bejn l-2009 u l-2015 huma VW Jetta, Beetle u Golf, il-mudell Passat tal-2014-15, u l-mudell Audi A3 ta’ bejn l-2009 u l-2015. Minn dawn jidher li hemm ħdax-il miljun karozza imxerrda mat-toroq tad-dinja.

F’Malta sadanittant l-informazzjoni għadha qed tinġabar. Għax nhar is-Sibt tħabbar li Transport Malta fl-aħħar bdiet tiċċaqlaq u talbet l-informazzjoni lill-aġenti lokali biex tkun tista’ tagħmel il-verifiki meħtieġa.

X’qed tistenna Trasport Malta biex bħall-Isvizzera temporanjament twaqqaf il-bejgħ ta’ dawn il-karozzi billi żżommilhom il-ħruġ tal-liċenzja? X’qed tistenna Transport Malta biex tissospendi temporanjament il-liċenzji ta’ dawn il-karozzi diġa fit-toroq tagħna u mgħammra b’dan l-apparat li jaħbi t-tniġġiż rejali li jikkawżaw?

It-tniġġiz li qed jikkawzaw dawn il-karozzi huwa wieħed sostanzjali. Skond dak li diġa ntqal fil-media dan it-tniġġiż ivarja bejn 20 darba u 35 darba dak li hu permess.

L-istorja ħarġet fil-media l-ġimgħa l-oħra, imma r-riżultati tat-testijiet li saru ilha magħrufa 18-il xahar. Imma f’dawn it-18-il xahar ma sar xejn la mill-kumpanija Volksvagen u l-anqas mill-Gvern Ġermaniż, bit-tama li l-istorja tintesa.

Minflok, matul dawn it-18-il xahar inbiegħu iktar karozzi. B’hekk żdiedu iktar il-karozzi fit-toroq li jniġġsu ħafna iktar milli hu permess.

Hemm bżonn li Transport Malta tfittex tieħu passi billi tneħħi mit-toroq tagħna dawn il-karozzi li qed iniġgsu ħafna iktar milli hu permissibli. Irid jieqaf ukoll immedjatament il-bejgħ ta’ dawn il-karozzi sakemm isirulhom l-aġġustamenti neċessarji biex it-tniġġis li jikkawzaw jinġieb f’livell aċċettabbli.

Huma f’dawn il-mumenti li jkollna l-provi dwar kemm l-awtoritajiet f’Malta jaħdmu fl-interess tagħna lkoll.

kummentarju imxandar fuq RTK – It-Tnejn 28 ta’ Settembru 2015

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Il-Volkswagen f’Malta: qiesu ma ġara xejn

MCCA.150925

Fid-dinja kollha kulħadd sema bl-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen. Kif ġie imbgħabas l-apparat tal-kontroll tal-emissjonijiet ta’ diversi mudelli ta’ karozzi tul dawn l-aħħar sitt snin.

F’diversi pajjiżi l-awtoritajiet kompetenti qed jieħdu passi biex jipproteġu l-interessi tal-konsumaturi li ġew imqarrqa.

F’Malta l-awtorità responsabbli għall-konsumatur iżda hi friska bħal ħassa.

Jidher li qiesu ma ġara xejn.

Kemm hawn minn dawn il-karozzi fit-toroq tagħna? X’passi ser jittieħdu?

Mhux biss l-awtorità hi siekta. Anke l-Ministru Helena Dalli ma jidhirx li tniffset.

Anke l-Awtorità dwar it-Trasport. Għaliha ukoll qiesu ma ġara xejn.

 

L-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen

Volkswagen. Das Cheater

 

Id-dettalji tal-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen  fl-iStati Uniti tal-Amerika għadhom ħerġin. L-istorja kollha, forsi, għadha mhux magħrufa s’issa.

Jidher li dan l-iskandlu jinvolvi madwar nofs miljun karozza li taħdem bid-diesel (qed issemma ukoll iċ-ċifra ferm ikbar ta’ 11-il miljun karozza) kif ukoll żieda ta’ madwar miljun tunellata ta’ emmissjonijiet ta’ NOx li jniġġzu l-arja u li  fil-parti l–kbira tagħhom huma ta’ ħsara għas-saħħa.

Dan jidher li seħħ minħabba li diversi karozzi prodotti mill-kumpanija Volkswagen kellhom apparat elettroniku stallat li kien inaqqas it-tniġġiz meta l-karozzi jkunu qed jiġu ittestjati liema apparat iżda ma kienx jaħdem f’ħin ieħor. Jidher li l-logħba kienet permezz ta’ software li kien istallat biex meta l-karozza tkun qed tiġi misjuqa b’mod normali l-kontrolli tal-emmissjoniiet kienu jintfew awtomatikament b’mod elettroniku. Dawn il-kontrolli iżda, kienu jerġgħu jinxtegħlu awtomatikament meta jkun għaddej xi test tal-emmissjonijiet.

Il-karozzi effettwati, mudelli li jaħdmu bid-diesel li ġew immanifatturati bejn l-2009 u l-2015 jidher li huma VW Jetta, Beetle u Golf, il-mudell Passat tal-2014-15, u l-mudell Audi A3 ta’ bejn l-2009 u l-2015.

Volkswagen qed tikkalkula li dan l-iskandlu ser jiswielha €6.5 biljuni fi ħsarat u possibilment mat-$18-il biljun f’multi fl-iStati Uniti tal-Amerika fejn ġie identifikat dan l-abbuż. Dan aparti multi f’pajjiżi oħra, kif ukoll, possibilment, proċeduri kriminali kontra d-diriġenti tal-kumpanija.

Il-ħsara lir-reputazzjoni tal-kumpanija, ukoll, diġa hi kbira ħafna.

Iktar tard illum, il-Kumitat tal-Ambjent tal-Parlament Ewropew ser jikkonkludi d-diskussjoni dwar abbozz ta’ leġislazzjoni li taġġorna r-regolamenti dwar it-tniġġiz mill-karozzi Euro 5 u Euro 6 applikabbli fl-Unjoni Ewropeja. Fi stqarrija li ħareġ il-bieraħ,  il-kelliemi tal-Ħodor Ewropej Bas Eickhout qal li ilu magħruf li l-manufatturi tal-karozzi fl-Unjoni Ewopeja qed iduru mar-regoli tat-tniġġiz tant li m’humiex josservawhom. L-iskandlu tal-Volkswagen fl-Istati Uniti għandu tiftaħ beraħ għajnejn kulħadd dwar dak li fil-fatt qed jiġri.

Nistennew li nkunu infurmati jekk ġewx mibjugħa minn dawn il-karozzi f’Malta u x’passi ser jittieħdu dwarhom.

The Big Question: Why is the world so slow to produce environmentally-friendly cars?

 

published in the UK Independent

 

By Sean O’Grady
Thursday, 17 April 2008

 

Why are we asking this now?

Because Britain’s first hydrogen filling station opens today at the University of Birmingham. Researchers there will be assessing alternative fuel vehicles in search of greener motoring.

Is hydrogen the answer?

The hydrogen fuel cell is revolutionary. It supersedes the internal combustion engine and does away with fossil fuels. So there are vested interests involved. That said, it isn’t so much a question of conspiracy as cost. Some of the world’s leading energy and motor companies are developing alternatives to the conventional car. If the world wants hydrogen it will have to invest in it, scrapping existing technology, factories, refineries, infrastructure and know-how. That means consumers would have to pay for the leap forward. Will they? Besides, not everyone is convinced about the hydrogen fuel cell.

What’s so good about hydrogen?

Hydrogen is green at the point of use. Hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles emit no carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide or carcinogenic particles. All that emerges from the exhaust is water vapour. The hydrogen fuel, stored in pressurised tanks, is used to create a chemical reaction using catalysts. That is converted into electric power and drives a motor which moves the vehicle along. It is quiet, and performance is acceptable for many purposes; in any case it is early days yet. After all, we’ve had a long time to get from Karl Benz’s 1886 Patent Motorwagen (top speed: 11mph) to today’s Formula 1 wonders.

Do hydrogen fuel cells work?

Yes. Buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells have been judged “really successful” by Transport for London. Californian and South Korean authorities have tested fleets of Honda and Hyundai fuel cell cars satisfactorily. Mercedes-Benz and General Motors are two other companies who’ve produced running everyday fuel-cell models (Mercedes A-Class and a Vauxhall Zafira, respectively). The Honda FCX Clarity, a “proper” executive fuel-cell car, will be available for lease in the United States this summer.

So what’s the snag?

The greenness of hydrogen does depend on how much energy is inefficiently expended in generating it and moving it around. If, at one extreme, a much more efficient method of making hydrogen could be discovered, and if the energy used in it s manufacture and transport was sustainable (like from a power station using solar energy), then it might well be the greenest option. At worst there isn’t much advance on fossil fuels. Storing hydrogen requires pressurisation or cooling, which can be troublesome. Hydrogen also tends to vaporise, so there can be losses in transit. Some, with the tragedy of the Hindenburg airship in mind, wonder whether this highly combustible fuel can ever be safe.

How about just using hydrogen as fuel?

Simply replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen in a conventional internal combustion engine can be done. BMW’s Hydrogen 7 is almost as quiet and refined as its petrol-powered cousin. However, it needs a huge tank for the (unpressurised) hydrogen, and that tank of fuel can evaporate in as little as 10 days.

Are biofuels any use?

Biofuel versions of Saabs and Fords can be bought now, though there are few filling stations. This technology is also controversial. In theory, biofuels are carbon neutral, as the carbon dioxide used in producing them is “absorbed” by the plants grown to make create the biofuel. So-called first generation biofuels do suffer from drawbacks. First, they can displace food crops. Biofuels, even their best friends would agree, have had some effect on rising food prices. The EU wants to see monitoring systems to assure consumers that biofuels are not damaging the environment or food supplies, but those safeguards are yet to be implemented . Second, they can reduce biodiversity, as witnessed in the Indonesian rain forest, where palm oil crops for biodiesel have done much damage.

Third, critics point to the energy expended in producing and transporting the biofuels, the artificial fertilisers used, the western subsidies to grow them in Europe and the US, and so on. More defensible are second, third and fourth generation biofuels, which become progressively greener, though none are commercially available. The next stage will be to find ways to use the waste product of crops rather than the nutritionally valuable seeds and grains in biofuel production. One day, the scientists promise “carbon positive” biofuels – enzymes that can save the planet.

Why aren’t there more hybrids?

Toyota’s Prius leads the field, although Honda and Ford and General Motors in America are also on the scene. Using power wasted, for example in braking, and recycling that via an electric motor to supplement a petrol engine is a clever one. But many manufacturers say small, efficient diesels engines are just as effective and a lot cheaper to make, with no problematic batteries to dispose of. Japanese and US makers tend to favour petrol/electric hybrids because their main markets have very little appetite for diesel; European makes such as Mercedes and Peugeot are more traditionally committed to diesel. “Plug-in hybrids”, where energy direct from the mains can add to the cars’ range, are a step forward.

What happened to the electric car?

Nothing especially, though GM did can one of its more promising projects on the grounds of cost. However, the motor-show concept Chevrolet Volt (a “plug-in” hybrid) promises much, and GM are committed to making it. Electric cars can be extremely green, but again much crucially depends on how their power is generated. They used to be slow and fragile; mainstream makers are working on that. The Modec van is a fine example of a practical vehicle.

What can I do now?

Drive more carefully; downsize; use public transport more. There’s an argument for keeping an old car on the road for longer, thus saving the resources and energy used in producing a new one. A Morris Minor Traveller even uses renewable ash in its bodywork. The car makers are doing their bit, too. Modern cars are much greener than their predecessors (see chart). Ford and Volkswagen are tuning existing models to return exceptional economy and low emissions, the VW Polo “Bluemotion” being an outstanding example. But manufacturers such as VW and Citroë*do tend to price their green or diesel cars on the high side compared to the equivalent petrol models.

Will cars be greener any time soon?

Yes…

* All new cars are greener than their ancestors, so it is a process of evolution

* Small diesels are the way forward at the moment, and there are plenty on sale now

* Everyone is downsizing anyway. That might be the immediate means of cutting vehicle emissions

No…

* The car makers and oil companies will try to protect their old ‘brown’ technologies

* Consumers aren’t demanding them loudly enough, giving makers no incentive to crank up production

* ‘Green’ technologies aren’t as clean as they say. A real solution has not arrived yet