Enviromental impact of a car - stunorthants
How many years do you have to run a car before the pollution created by making a car, is taken over by the pollution it generates?
Enviromental impact of a car - teabelly
That would depend on the car partly I would guess. Some tiny engined little effort would probably take a shorter time to pay back the pollution than a big engined car. This could cancel out in useful life time as the buzz box would probably expire around 120k and the large engined car would probably see 200k without trouble. It would also depend on the materials used and where they were sourced and how.

I would like to know for definite what the pollution pay back time is with various models and whether there older cars of a certain generation are actually more environmentally friendly if you keep running them rather than scrapping them and buying something new.
teabelly
Enviromental impact of a car - Hamsafar
I once read an article that said for a Mondeo it was around 250,000 miles. This was in the days of the MkI Mondeos.
Enviromental impact of a car - stunorthants
So one wonders if a government who apparently cares about the enviroment, doesnt encourage us to hang onto cars rather than buy new ones, thus infact creating more pollution than running older cars...
Enviromental impact of a car - Xileno {P}
"So one wonders if a government who apparently cares about the enviroment, doesnt encourage us to hang onto cars rather than buy new ones, thus infact creating more pollution than running older cars..."

Because the Government would lose huge amounts of tax revenue. Think of all the VAT they would lose, not to mention the taxes on the workers who build, distribute and sell them. It's common sense that it is 'greener' to keep old cars going, provided they are maintained to a worthy standard i.e.not chucking out vast quantities of smoke etc.
It's the chuck-away society that we have allowed to develop I'm afraid, one day I am sure it will come back to bite us (probably when all the Chinese workers demand higher wages) but for now we are all part of this daft merry-go-round.
Enviromental impact of a car - TheOilBurner
There's a simple solution here that doesn't require government intevention: if you want to keep older cars running than buy one and look after it!

Most people choose not to and it will take an awful lot to change their minds. With the obsession with having the latest plates, the most toys, the best NCAP performance and (increasingly) the biggest 4x4 there's little incentive to hold onto 13 year old Mondeos to try and break 250,000 miles in them.

Quite exactly how will it come back to bite us? It seems most of our cars these days are made in Germany, France, Belgium etc. Chinese wages are neither here nor there, even for the majority of components.

I'm not saying I don't agree with the sentiment (I do), I just don't see anything changing anytime soon.
Enviromental impact of a car - Andrew-T
"Most people choose not to and it will take an awful lot to change their minds"

Absolutely, OilBurner. There may be a chink of light in that new car sales are not quite as high as they have been. Just now I am amusing myself looking for a decent 16-year-old 205 GTI to potter about in, which may keep one more oldie on the road a bit longer.

As we all know by now, Peugeot are retrenching by closing down Ryton. That may reduce the level of manufacturing pollution, but of course the employees won't take much comfort from that. It all depends on your viewpoint.
Enviromental impact of a car - P3t3r
I think the main reason why a small engine will probably not last as long would be because of the way it is used. Small engines tend to do low mileages in the city, whereas big ones tend to sit on the m/way doing hardly any work. I've known small engines to go well past 120k, and if you used a small engine in the same way you used a large one then the difference in life expectancy would probably be a lot closer.

I always thought that the government were just after the money. They are encouraging people to buy hybrids, which tend to cost a lot, which will mean more taxes. The environmental impact from the production of hybrids must be huge because there are efectively two engines to build, and maintain :-o.
Enviromental impact of a car - stunorthants
So its as I suspected - we are taxed for ruining the enviroment yet the goverment takes no part in truely discouraging us from true pollution.

Enviromental impact of a car - Cliff Pope
I don't quite follow the question. A car will never "pay back" the pollution created in its manufacture. All cars continue to pollute in some form during use, even the cleanest. The question really is the which cars, new or existing, will minimise the pollution over their lifetime.
There is also a secondary question - how much benefit does society or the world derive from that car's use, and is that benefit commensurate witht the environmental (as well as financial) cost borne by the owner and everyone else?
In short, economic progress itself, of which cars are a part, has an environmental cost. How much are we willing to pay? And how do we balance one person's gain against another's loss?
Enviromental impact of a car - mss1tw
The cars are still going to get made, whether they are used or not.

Think about the energy that went into making the Rovers currently sat in various dealerships - there's no way that energy was well used, or is going to be 'repayed' by those cars!
Enviromental impact of a car - Xileno {P}
Don't agree, no manufacturer is going to make something that no-one wants. In the short term as demand and supply equalise there may be some surplus capacity. Rover went bust because they were making old designs that were not worth the money. All the Rovers sitting in dealerships will sell if the price is right. I would have a 75 for 6K for example, particularly the diesel.

Remember all the pictures back in the early 1990s of cars sitting in compounds? When the last recession hit, cars were hard to sell. It wasn't too long afterwards that redundancies started.
Enviromental impact of a car - mss1tw
I'd bet a soapy tenner that most of these will end up in in landfill or recycled.

As is with most things, people in charge would rather they were wasted than sold at a price people will pay.
Enviromental impact of a car - Aprilia
I posted on here some while ago about a University of Heidelberg study in the mid-1990's which showed that a car would have to run for about 100,000miles at 30mpg before it produced the same amount of pollution as was produced during its manufacture. I suspect that manufacturing processes have become cleaner since then and so the "50:50 point" has move to a higher mileage.

Modern engines do not wear out as fast as older designs and can remain within emissions spec if properly maintained. There are therefore considerable environmental advantages in keeping cars longer and promoting a 'repair' culture to ensure they're well-maintained. Moreover this approach would lead to more UK jobs and possible be better for the economy (since much of the money used for purchasing a new car ends up overseas).

Unfortunately the UK's low used car prices (possibly the lowest in Europe) indicate that we are pretty much addicted to buying new cars. The 'company car culture' doesn't help - it encourages people to buy bigger cars than they would if spending their own money and also leads to over-supply of newer used vehicles which depresses used prices making perfectly servicable older cars 'uneconomic' to repair.

There seem to be a large number of people who continue to buy 'big and heavy' vehicles - sales of 4x4's are strong at the moment. Weight is a major factor in fuel use and hence in pollution (about 85% of petrol used in the UK is used to overcome inertia, getting the vehicle up to speed - rather than in cruising), as are mechanically inefficient drive systems (4-wheel drive where not needed, conventional automatic transmissions etc). A primary objective should be to reduce vehicle weight and promote efficient but simple powertrain designs.
Enviromental impact of a car - moonshine {P}

A good post from Aprilla

As I've said in previous posts there is no such thing as an environment friendly car. It's just that some have a larger impact than others.

Although I'm certainly not a green hippy I like to think I'm doing my bit, I have two cars one is 1984 toyota and the other a 1999 audi. I intend to keep both these cars until either the spare parts are no longer available or new legisation forces me to change them.

Not only does this help reduce the impact on the environment it saves me bucket loads of cash as well.
Enviromental impact of a car - tyro
therefore considerable environmental advantages in keeping cars longer and promoting
a 'repair' culture to ensure they're well-maintained. Moreover this approach
would lead to more UK jobs and possible be better for
the economy (since much of the money used for purchasing a
new car ends up overseas).


Interesting point. I never thought of that one before. So it is not just "greener" to run your car for a few decades (Cuban fashion), but also better for the UK economy.
Enviromental impact of a car - v0n
I had similar thoughts about car ecomomics in Japan. All Japanese cars have to go through shakken every two years, we could call it a MOT equivalent, except it's much tougher and horrifically expensive, something to the tune of 150,000 yen if I remember correctly. Relatively high salaries and low demand for second hand cars creates low send hand values, add high cost of biannual inspection and you realise most cars despite their low mileage and good technical state are almost literally thrown away after 6 - 8 years. Not because they wouldn't pass the inspection but because their market value is lower than cost of keeping them on the road for another year. Many of those cars eventually end up here as imports btw...
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[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Enviromental impact of a car - Xileno {P}
"There are therefore considerable environmental advantages in keeping cars longer and promoting a 'repair' culture to ensure they're well-maintained."

Agree 100%.


"Moreover this approach would lead to more UK jobs and possible be better for the economy (since much of the money used for purchasing a new car ends up overseas)."

Disagree. I doubt the increased employment due to the 'repair' culture would replace the unemployment caused at the factories by redundancies and through to other sectors through the trickle-down effect. There is still quite a lot of manufacturing in the UK, if mostly (or all) foreign owned.

'Better for the economy' is very difficult to define. If tax revenues to the Exchequer were to fall, then we would experience either public spending cuts, tax rises or more likely a combination of the two.

The environment and economic stability are not always in harmony, due in main to the intervention of Politics.


Enviromental impact of a car - Chad.R
>>.. I suspect that manufacturing processes have become cleaner since then
and so the "50:50 point" has move to a higher mileage.


Surely you mean a lower mileage?
Enviromental impact of a car - Aprilia
Surely you mean a lower mileage?



Yes, sorry, I do mean a lower mileage.
Enviromental impact of a car - Lud
Hear hear Aprilia, although the low used prices compensate to the high new prices we pay, or are supposed to pay, in this country.

With the proliferation of speed bumps and the general deterioration of heavily used road surfaces, something else suggests itself: real attention paid to suspension design to develop long-travel, well-damped suspension a la desert racer, so that people will stop buying big heavy vehicles for that reason.

Of course as we see from another thread some people are so thick and so egotistical that they will still go for the 'prestige' solution. This already costs them in purchase price, fuel bills and higher vehicle tax, but vulgar smug loadsamoney types just don't care.
Enviromental impact of a car - Lud
first sentence of my last post has lost some words. Should read '... compensate to some extent for the high prices...'
Enviromental impact of a car - stunorthants
Most seem to have got the question but for the benefit of Cliff Pope...
What I asked, was basically, how many years of running a new car, does it take before the amount of pollution emitted from the car is greater than that created by manufacturing it.

Its a question based on the point that buying a new car is infact, if you include the pollution generated by its manufacture, less enviromentally friendly than running a used car which has already been built.

What you also have to consider, is if people kept their cars for 20 years instead of changing them every 3 years, would this be better for the enviroment - there is a train of thought that suggests this might be and the concentration by the government of persuading us into cleaner cars is infact not taking into account the larger picture ( that building cars in very polluting, more so than running them, by some margin ) IF the enviroment is really their concern in their taxation policies.
Enviromental impact of a car - Chad.R
>>..... there is a train of thought that suggests this might be and
the concentration by the government of persuading us into
cleaner cars is infact not taking into account the larger picture
( that building cars in very polluting, more so than running them,
by some margin) IF the enviroment is really their concern in their taxation
policies.


Building cars makes money for Governments; both in terms of investment and taxes etc. by manufacterers and those employed. It also create jobs in the area and will contribute towards local and regional economic growth etc. (I'm sure someone will come along and put forward the economic case far more eloquently than I've done but you get the picture).

Unfortunately, the environment usually comes second to these considerations.

 

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