Volkswagen's TDI Engines are Bridge to Energy Independence
The company says that VW TDI and Audi TDI vehicles offer fuel economy improvements of 30 percent over similar gas engines. But with electric vehicles and hybrids taking the lead in the race for a green future, Volkswagen's greasy diesel looks like a century-old relic. And while older VW TDI engines were preferred by biodiesel advocates, the company only offers warranty for the current TDI models for the use of B5 (5% biodiesel).
The reason for limiting current TDI's to B5 biodiesel comes from a VW representative. The lack of infrastructure for supplying biodiesel, added to the fact that the industry is not yet mature enough to provide fuel of a consistent nature, led Volkswagen to limit the warranty, being unwilling to risk the results from inconsistent fuel quality. Rudolph Diesel's original design was able to burn almost any fuel, including vegetable oil, but since the introduction of the "common rail" technology, newer TDI engines became less tolerant of low quality fuels.
VW is collaborating with a German University to create a next-generation biofuel that involves turning biomass to gas. The biomass is present pretty much everywhere, and after it is converted to gas, it can be condensed down to biodiesel. The resulting fuel is considered to be carbon neutral, because the carbon in the fuel was already present in the ecosystem. Unfortunately mass production would require immense surfaces of land to be dedicated to the production of biofuels, which seems pretty much like a negative impact, if you ask us.
Then it seems that the use of fossil oil to produce fuels is simply not the bridge to energy independence. A real step forward towards a cleaner ecosystem would be the use of alternative fuels and clean electricity. We're sorry, Volkswagen, your diesel is just not clean enough!