Ever since the news broke about Volkswagen and its diesel emissions scandal, people the world over have been pondering the future of compression-ignition engines. We’ve done it ourselves, asking if VW’s scandal could possibly hurt diesel fuel in America, and even the world, by making both consumers and governments distrust it. Even BMW, who regardless of its image will stick with diesel fuel in the future, has said that what happened with Volkswagen will hurt diesel in the US.
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According to an interview with Wolfgang Stütz , by WardsAuto, “I personally think there will be effects, that people and politicians don’t trust diesels, and this is the effect the whole industry has from this affair,” to which he continued “The future legislation is also affected because the legislators will tighten the (emission regulation) limits and the boundary conditions,” he said. “This is what we see today.”
However, Stütz claims that BMW’s diesels are clean and that there’s no worry of any cheating going on. “We were always clean. We are clean,” said Stütz . “We do not manipulate emissions systems, and we had also in the past a process inside the company to make sure there are no defeat devices on board.”
also went on to say that diesel is also being hurt by the current low prices of gasoline. When gas was expensive, diesels seems far more attractive, given their better fuel economy and range. However, gas is cheap at the moment which, combined with VW’s scandal, makes diesel look like a poor choice. “When both prices rise, then from a certain level the customer may become interested in diesel engines again in the U.S.,” he says. “But at the moment, this is not the case.”
Despite all of this, however, BMW will stick to its guns and produce diesel engines as long as it can. Regardless of scandal, diesel engines are still the more popular choice in Europe, especially Germany, so it makes sense for the brand to continue with them. Also, with the proper emissions cleaning, diesels can be cleaner and far more efficient than many hybrids could ever hope to be. So hopefully Stütz is wrong and this scandal doesn’t hurt diesel’s image in the US too badly and legislation doesn’t change, because we already get the short end of the diesel stick. We can only hope that customers and legislators alike will understand that there are more positives to diesel in America than negatives.