VW Ditching More Diesels

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VW is getting rid of its other diesels, too.

Its MAN diesel engines. These are the huge diesel engines that power ships today – and once upon a time powered German U Boats prowling the Atlantic.

But diesels are almost as politically incorrect as giving the stiff-armed salute from the tribune at the crumbling ruins at the Zeppelin field in Nuremburg – even though they haven’t committed any war crimes.

They are, however, not electric.

And VW is desperately trying to divest itself of anything that isn’t  – in order to get back in the good graces of the government it “cheated” by not exactly complying with its emissions testing rigmarole.

It has already ceased building passenger car diesels – notwithstanding their objective superiority to electric propulsion on every metric except political ones. It has even been funding advertising campaigns hairshirting itself for “cheating” the government – the same government determined to cheat us of affordable, high-mileage (and low emissions) cars in favor of unaffordable, low-range (and long wait) electric cars – which aren’t even low-emissions unless you close your eyes (and nose) to the emissions generated by their manufacturer as well as by the power plants which produce the electricity they burn.

Never mind.

It’s as insane as the cheering zombies at the Zeppelin field 70-something years ago. You can hear the echoes, getting louder. 

Elektric uber alles!

As an aside, relevant in this context: The U-boats which prowled the Atlantic 70-something years ago had electric batteries – which ran the boat when it was unter see. But – as today – not for very long and not for very fast.

The MAN diesel powered those batteries – and the boat. Without the diesel, the boat was kaput.

Ach, never mind.

It looks like Cummins may buy MAN – and take over operations. If, of course, Cummins isn’t also outlawed by the government, a real possibility because of the unhinged fanaticism of the  Climate Change Cult.

Which has already floated the idea of containing “greenhouse gasses” emitted biologically – from the hindquarters of cattle (and implicitly, us as well). If cows – and humans – will soon be required to wear catalytic converter underwear – or whatever the “greenhouse gas” sequestration requires – then it is hard to imagine much of a future for MAN or Cummins.

Caterpillar – another heavy diesel business – is no longer in the business of making diesels for anything other than off-road vehicles. It stopped making heavy truck engines about five years ago, because Uncle. Because it felt it could no longer build them satisfactorily – in terms of satisfying the truckers and trucking companies which once bought them – while also satisfying the government regulations.

This will not stop unless it is stopped.

People – lots of them, at any rate – have no concept in a mechanical/functional sense – of what it takes to move things, especially heavy things, efficiently and reliably – with cost a definite object. They live in a scruffy-bearded world of magical thinking, in which manna just flows and the work needed to make the manna flow is something they never do.

This is a luxury afforded by a society sickened by its own abundance  . . .soon to be not.

Maybe Elon Musk will figure out how to make a battery-powered rocket that gets us back to the Moon.

Or, not.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. The real irony of Caterpillar is that they still make diesels FOR the government, particularly the military, which ARE the soot and smoke billowing engines of the alarmist’s nightmares.

  2. “….battery-powered rocket…”

    If you think about it, isn’t anti grav tech powered by electrical currents?
    We don’t use Newtonian Rockets to get into space. Chemical “Rockets” are just a small part of it for show and public consumption.

  3. SO why are the Chinese developing a diesel/hybrid with a range of about 800 miles per tank?
    Are they planning to export it?
    Some truck fleets have converted diesels that now are run on natural gas. Not sure if it is true, but those natural gas trucks are supposed to be completely pollution free.

  4. St of Oregon just passed a bill to ban older commercial diesel powered vehicles. https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2019/06/26/house-passes-compromise-diesel-cleanup-bill.html

    As originally proposed, House Bill 2007 would have required medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses registered in the state to have 2010 or newer engines — or appropriate retrofits — by 2029. (Engines from 2007 onward spew dramatically less pollution than earlier models, and 2010 and onward models run even cleaner.)

    Under the bill that passed, the phase-out focuses on Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, with varying timelines depending on vehicle type:

    • By 2023, trucks must be model year 1997 or newer for medium- and heavy-duty.

    • By 2025, trucks titled in the area must be model year 2010 or newer for medium duty and 2007 or newer for heavy duty.

    • By 2029, privately owned medium-duty trucks in the metro area must be model year 2010 or newer; heavy-duty privately owned trucks must be 2007 or newer.

    • By 2029, publicly owned medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the metro area must be model year 2010 or newer.

    The bill would also help some businesses clean up their fleets. Oregon is already using about $18 million of the $72.9 million it’s due to receive under the Volkswagen emissions-scandal settlement to clean up school buses; under HB 2007, about $53 million more would go toward replacing or retrofitting old vehicles.

    • The purpose of the law is not the environment. It is to put the small trucking firms and independents out of business.

      California already did it. The mainstream media then reports on the indentured servitude of lease-to-own new trucks that independent contractors resorted to. They show the corporations to be evil but carefully refusing to make the connection to government enabling the evil. It’s for the environment don’t you know. Never mind that the old trucks would get replaced naturally without turning people into debt slaves.

    • “Engines from 2007 onward spew dramatically less pollution than earlier models, and 2010 and onward models run even cleaner.”

      Diesel engines from 2006 and older used to run 400,000 or more trouble free miles before anything major needed to be addressed. Engines from 2007 onward start having major problems at around the 100,000 mile mark.

  5. I was at Autostadt in Wolfsburg several weeks ago and in the Volkswagen building there was a room dedicated to electric vehicles. In the building housing the museum, there was a floor with exhibits and interactive displays regarding Climate Change. In the museum building, there were two people who began explaining to me about what VW is doing to help the climate. In the middle of their presentation I stopped them and said, I hope they plan to retire before the Volkswagen Group goes bankrupt or sells out to another company because what they are telling me is all bullshit. Both said they knew this but this is their job and they can say nothing. Same for the Volkswagen building. While a man explained about the new electric transporter which will debut at the IAA (Frankfurt Motor Show) later this year, I told him I would be interested in the vehicle only if it had a gasoline or Diesel motor. When he told me that will not happen, I said the same thing I told the other two people. And he also repeated what the others had said to me but if I wanted, I could go to the customer vehicle delivery building and speak with a VW Group representative to voice my concern.
    I walked over, found a representative and and we had a brief conversation. During our talk, I told him, I felt if VW spent 10% of the money they are dumping into electrification and put it toward debunking all the points used to prove Man Made Climate Change, the company could be saved. They can’t continue to lose millions of Euros and expect to be in business in 10-15 years. He said to me quietly, he knew this and he is quite concerned because he will not be of retirement age for 30 years. Also, he is afraid for the entire German auto industry. When I asked why isn’t someone saying something, he said, what can the employees do? They are just a cogs in a wheel. In my mind, I couldn’t help comparing VW (and really, all auto manufacturers) to the old General Motors.
    Since auto makers don’t have the balls to expose this Man Made Climate Change scam, perhaps their salvation will be to buy up their old vehicles from 1995 to present, restore them to new and sell them with a new car factory warranty. I’m certain they would find more buyers for these than a new electric car.

    • Breaks my cold, dead heart to read that.

      People aren’t stupid, but they gotta bow down to their Uncle’s who are driving them to suicide. Smh, someone has to have the balls to fight back

      • I’ve had similar experiences. One was with people at BMW some years ago. Funny critters these Europeans. They often know the truth of matters but they just can’t bring themselves to do anything about it. They just obey, go along with the official lies, debase themselves to tell the fibs and pretend that it’ll somehow just all magically come out right up and OK. I tell them, “No guys, it won’t be ending up OK for ANY of you. For if none of you can even stand up for yourselves and speak the truth out loud, then who will? How the hell can any of you expect anyone else to do what you won’t attend to?” And they usually just stare vacantly, dribble slowly and say nothing.

          • Fred – I think you are overly pessimistic. So-called climate change is low on American worry list (https://www.spartareport.com/2018/07/gallup-poll-shows-americans-dont-care-about-climate-change/)

            Trump was elected because people were looking for a wrench to through into the bureaucratic gears (aka the swamp).

            Britain wants to get the hell out of the EU (Brexit) (Theresa May resigns).

            Yellow vests continue their protest in France.

            Black Americans are leaving the democratic plantation (Blexit)

            And, regarding China: Thousands are protesting in Hong Kong.

            Fred – freedom will win out in the end.

            • Amen, Larry!

              To borrow a line: Now is the time to stand fast; to not be a “summer soldier” – to not walk off the field before the game is over.

              This thing can still be won and we’re damned fools if we give up while we can still maneuver.

          • Hi Fred,

            The West – the leadership of the West – is behaving much as the last Aztec emperor did. If not stopped, the West will go the way of the Aztecs.

        • Hi Siotu,

          Europeans have been conditioned to authority; to do as they are told. Americans were different, once. But much less so today. Social pressure to accept (at least pretend to accept) the various shibboleths and orthodoxies is severe – and so people do accept or pretend to. Trump’s victory was a kind of blowback done anonymously in the voting booth.

          I expect him to win in 2020.

          • Yes, Trump seems sure to win in 2020, if for no other reason than the Democrats don’t have a clue how to nominate anyone who isn’t a transparent idiot. Tulsi Gabbard at least claims to be anti-war, but people who are familiar with the nomination process say she’ll be washed out early on.

              • Too bad…at least she did some service as an Army officer in the Hawaii NG, and just about as fuckable as was Palin or Bachmann. But even if “Tulsi” (who had some billboards on I-80 and I-74 in the Midwest that I saw) has more than a few functioning brain cells, she still has to parrot the Dummycrat party line, so her mouth is useful for but two things…one is to feed her lovely self, and the other sure as hell ain’t speaking!

        • ..which is how dictators come to power. Jerry has never been very good at democracy so he’ll never speak out at institutional stupidity. Meanwhile, their own government continues to import the Moslem enemy and punishes those who call attention to it. All Merkel and here friends need is the goose step.

        • It’s because all the Alpha Males were killed during WWII, and Germany, along with the rest of Europe to a lesser extent, have been emasculated.

  6. VW also own MAN and Scania trucks, are they going to sell those companies as well? It would have to to be consistent. BTW when VW was required to pay the fine for its emissions offense, it took the money from Scania’s balance sheet. VW needs Scania more than Scania needs VW.

  7. Certain applications demand a Diesel. It’ll be tough to go back to steam turbines in blue water shipping. Those huge MAN and Wartsila (apologies to any Finns reading, I lost my umlauts) Diesels have such amazing thermal efficiencies, much better over a long journey than steam turbines fed by oil-fired boilers. And consider electric battery propulsion for a supertanker…huh? Really? Imagine even if you could fit the batteries and not capsize from the weight, the electric grid implications for recharging even a small tanker at a port. Even fuel cell electric will require massive investment, massive R&D, and most likely massive fuel tanks, much bigger than the FO tanks for a marine Diesel.

    So, Cummins/MAN and Wartsila will do OK I think.

    • Too bad everyone is ignorant about nuclear energy. Civilian nuclear vessels would pretty much change everything. But ooooh, scary! So no advancement, only stagnation.

      Hopefully we won’t go backwards to schooners, but I’ll bet someone has working drawings to peddle.

      • I think diesel is a better way to go for ships. Refueling is a lot easier, and it’s quicker. Refueling a nuclear reactor is a lot more involved than that. BTW, there WAS a nuclear powered ship decades ago: the NS Savannah.

        • Ya know Mark, I was wondering what the state of commercial maritime nuke might have been had the NS Savannah not faced the terror of the Know-Nothing commie greens at its apportioned refuelling time. I wonder, with tighter reactor controls, 40+ years of experience, maybe we might have gotten to a nuke-on-the-water world. Maybe THAT would have been cheaper overall than Diesels. We’ll never know though, the Watermelon Environuts saw to that.

          • I don’t think that the economics would have been favorable. Shoot, even the Navy, which doesn’t have to make money as a commercial shipping operator does, runs nuclear power on a limited basis! Why? Because nuclear power is a PITA, pure & simple. To refuel a nuke involves going into the yards and all that. Plus, there’s training to consider.

            Yeah, the subs are all nukes, because they have to be; how else can they stay submerged for weeks or months at a time? But only the carriers are nuclear powered in the surface fleet these days. Most of the rest of the surface fleet uses gas turbines, which can literally go from cold iron to full power in a matter of minutes. I remember seeing a Spruance can pull out, and we could literally hear its engines starting up as it left the pier. You can’t do that with either nuclear power or oil fired boilers!

            Between maintenance, fueling, etc., I think that large diesels or gas turbines are the way to go for most ships. Those propulsion systems are reliable, economical, and UNDERSTOOD; there’s nothing esoteric about them, as with nukes. And for fuel, no yard visit is required; just stick in the hose, and pump until she’s full.

            • “Refueling” a modern USN SSN or SSBN is part of the programmed life-cycle and is a key part of an overhaul of the boat, where upgrades are also installed. This process typically requires 18-24 months in dock and can easily run $1.2 billion (yep, with a “B”) or MORE, but it’s good for 20 years, and that’s TWO 75 to 85 day cruises per year, far more than other navies can do (simply b/c they can’t afford it!).

              The new Columbia-class SSBNs are being designed for a FIFTY year life cycle without a reactor refueling event being needed at all.

              Gas turbines can run on a variety of fuels, but most run either on Jet A (same blend as for commercial airliners) or No. 1 diesel (which is quite similar to Jet-A), which greatly simplifies fueling logistics. Hence why most of the Navy’s non-nuclear surface craft are being ordered with turbines, and their MTBO and MBTF numbers are far better than even the most sturdy of ship diesels.

              • Hi Douglas (excellent website by the way)

                The trouble with using Jet A or gas oil in ships is the cost of the fuel itself. A commercial cargo operator could not even start to think along the lines of using those two- not unless dealing with extremely valuable and very time sensitive cargo.

                The trouble with military technology is that, as spectacular and as interesting as it may appear to be, it is pretty much 100% uneconomic waste. Waste that taxpaying suckers get to pay for. Waste which they get absolutely nothing back in return for supporting with their hard earned wages. All just wasted.

                Oh well.

                People will eventually learn- one by one.

      • Great minds? 🙂

        In case anyone’s wondering, my EMAIL has changed, so therefore my icon here seems to have, also.

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