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It sounds more like a jobs program to disadvantage German cars though.
Meh, many small (under 2l) German diesel engines are French made (Mercedes, A and C Class -> Renault, BMW, Mini Cooper -> PSA at least until 2015 where it'll be over I think), only VW stands on its own. So it's really going to piss the French car manufacturers as well.
But it doesn't end here: diesel at the pump should be more expensive than gas. Only a small tax break makes it cheaper.
And because we use so much diesel fuel, French refinary plants don't produce enough of it so we export our gasoline surplus (to say the US) to import diesel fuel. So even on an economical standpoint it doesn't make sense.
Page 85, line Chronic Mortality * Premature deaths...
40000 yearly deaths based on PM
And this: http://www.researchgate.net/pu...
They estimate that every increase of 10 micrograms of particulate PM2.5 (2.5 as a 2.5 micrometer particulate) per cubic meter (g/m3) would lead to a 6% increase of death due to illness resulting from these particulates.
In 2000, in anticipation of the future Euro 5 regulations PSA Peugeot Citroën became the first company to make filters standard on passenger cars.
For example, Rushton et al. (Rushton et al. 2012) recently estimated that occupational DEE (Diesel engine exhaust) exposure in the United Kingdom was the third most important occupational contributor to the lung cancer burden after asbestos and silica exposure.
They estimate 6% of people dying of lung cancer do die because of diesel particles...
The reason 80% of percent of French motorists drive diesel-powered cars is because they are the most economical option.
It's not the most economical option because as people mentioned, the higher purchasing price means one needs to drive around 10000 or 12000km (that's around 6200/7500 miles) a year to get a financial benefit.
The issue here is more of the chicken and egg kind: because of the lower prices at the pump and the incentive governments have been giving away, people nowadays buy diesel because it's what everyone has or wants. When you want to use your used car, if it's not a diesel, you can forget about findind a buyer.
And modern diesel engines emit more NO2 than they used to.
So the bottom line is: invisible smoke doesn't mean it's better.
I'm a 35 and I got my license when I was 18 so I was curious. It did use to 21, but that changed in 1922 (from 21 years old to 18)...
As for alcohol, you're half right: one used to be able to buy "light" stuff (cider, beer, wine) between 16 and 18 but it changed 2 years ago. Now it's 18 for everything.
Your "almost identical" is something like 10%...