It’s not obvious that this is a useful environmental solution. Sure, Volkswagen cheated and lied on those emissions tests from its diesel engines. The why of that we know – it’s impossible to make a cheap diesel engine which meets current emissions standards. We can make expensive diesel engines which meet them, but we can’t make cheap ones which both have the reduced CO2 output from higher fuel efficiency and also meet the NOx emission standards.
It should have been obvious that everyone was cheating because the task at hand just isn’t possible. And as we’ve seen since, everyone has indeed been cheating.
That still gives us the solution, which is to take all of those cheating cars off the road.
Thousands of diesel-powered Volkswagens are parked at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. While this facility is known for its airplane graveyard, Volkswagen has leased enough land here to park 21,0000 vehicles.
That image is:
As an economist points out:
The next time an economist writes TNSTAAFL, or says “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” … listen.
The point being that we’ve gone off and used up some amount of energy to replace those 21,000 cars. Have produced some amount of pollution in doing so. And it’s not obvious that we’ve saved either energy or pollution through the process. In fact, no one has even tried to calculate whether we have.
Which means we just don’t know if this is a good environmental solution, do we?