Diesel is quite popular in Europe partly due to subsidies provided by governments - in this case, a lower tax rate on diesel fuel than gasoline. The thinking at the time was diesel engines burn their fuel more efficiently than gas engines, thus they contribute less to global warming. But as the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal would reveal, diesel vehicles aren't that much cleaner, producing more nitrogen oxide emissions than their gas counterparts. Now, one CEO from a German automaker is saying that maybe it is time to end the subsidies.
“We should question the logic and purpose of diesel subsidies. The money can be invested more sensibly to promote more environmentally friendly technologies,” said Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller to German paper Handelsblatt.
This is quite the surprise as Volkswagen along with other German automakers said diesel still had a future due to new pollution reduction technologies. Also, Volkswagen did very well with the sales of diesel models. But with the dark cloud of the diesel emission scandal, Müller likely sees the writing on the wall and wants to get out ahead.
Müller went on to say that he was in favor of banning older diesel vehicles from city centers. But he said that newer diesel vehicles should be exempt from the bans as they meet "stricter standards on nitrogen oxide emissions".
Source: Handelsblatt via New York Times