Oh, good Lord! Just when you think the last nail in the coffin containing the cold dead body of diesel has been put in place, along comes Matthias Mūller, the capo di tutti capi at Volkswagen to tell us that his company still sees a bright future for cars with diesel engines. It was not enough that the “clean diesel” scam nearly wiped Volkswagen off the face of the earth or that his company was caught with its pants down (in association with co-conspirators Daimler and BMW) running tests on monkeys to prove breathing diesel exhaust fumes is actually a healthy thing to do. It’s not enough that nations and cities around the world — including some in Germany — are planning to ban diesel cars from their streets in the near future.
No, for Herr Müller it’s all about the emissions standards imposed by the European Union. They require lower carbon dioxide emissions, diesel engines emit about 30% less carbon dioxide than a gasoline engine, so “natürlich, wir müssen Diesel-Autos fabrizieren. ” Never mind the nitrogen oxides and fine particulates that poison people and lead to respiratory and pulmonary disease. The only way for Volkswagen to stay in business and meet emission standards is to build diesel-powered cars.
“When you know that diesel is environmentally friendly, there are no reasons not to buy it,” Müller told the press at the Geneva auto show according to a report by ABC Nyheter. “Diesel will get a renaissance in the near future, because people who drove diesel will realize that it was a comfortable driving concept. As soon as we confirm that diesel has also been environmentally friendly, there is no reason not to buy a diesel car.”
Diesel is to Volkswagen what crack cocaine is to drug addicts, apparently. Mùller is making the same mistake his predecessors made — the diesel engine can be made to comply with emissions regulations. Does he not know that in January, German regulators ordered Audi to recall every single car manufactured with the V-6 diesel engine sourced from Volkswagen — the engine that supposedly meets the latest Euro 6 standard but doesn’t? Volkswagen doesn’t need cleaner diesels, it needs new management, today if not sooner.
Across the hall from the Volkswagen stand, Toyota announced in Geneva that it is halting production of passenger cars with diesel engines for the European market by the end of this year. What does Toyota know that Volkswagen does not?
A tip of the CleanTechnica hat to Leif Hansen for alerting us to this story.