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[New Scientist]: The problems these little trucks are causing was rumbled when the
Chinese government commissioned a national energy inventory. It found a
black hole in the figures, with consumption of diesel far greater than
could be accounted for by the vehicles on China’s roads alone….




The CRVs [China rural vehicles] are so inefficient that they produce as much pollution as all
the conventional vehicles in China and account for a quarter of its
diesel consumption. This makes them “a pretty significant part of
China’s greenhouse gas emissions,” [Dan] Sperling says….




CRVs could easily be made more
economical and less polluting by
tweaking the engine to improve combustion efficiency, Sperling argues.
‘You would need just a little technology transfer to halve emissions
and to achieve a 50 per cent improvement in energy consumption.’ With
changes like these, the CRV could become as important to China’s
development as the Model T Ford was to America’s, he says.

Important changes — since China is poised to export the low cost CRVs
all over Asia. India is potential competitor; one can only hope they
don’t race to the bottom by competing over cheaper, more polluting
vehicles.