German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer on November 8 announced that German car manufacturers have agreed to retrofit older diesel at their own cost. Only BMW has refused to take part in the programme.
Scheuer met with managers from automobile manufacturers Daimler, Volkswagen (VW) and BMW in Berlin on November 8. The meeting was held to discuss government plans for manufacturers to pay for retrofitting hardware for older diesel vehicles.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Scheuer announced that Daimler and Volkswagen were prepared to pay up to €3,000 per vehicle.
Scheuer also announced that he would meet with foreign manufacturers to ensure they abide by the same emissions standards as domestic manufacturers.
Daimler and VW also intend to pursue trade-in incentives to entice buyers to purchase new, more fuel-efficient cars.
Manfred Schoch, who heads the BMW works council, says the government’s plan to treat all manufacturers the same “threatens jobs at carmakers that have been producing clean diesels all along.” He continued by adding: “Rather than investing in the past we need a comprehensive charging infrastructure for e-mobility.”
BMW development manager Klaus Fröhlich was similarly skeptical of Scheuer’s plan: “It will take years before a hardware retrofit can do anything to improve air quality — if at all.” Others at BMW pointed out that retrofits will only add weight to cars and thereby increase fuel consumption.
According to DW, the battle over diesel emissions, air pollution and the role of German automakers in that equation has been brewing for years. VW, the world’s largest automaker, was famously found to have cheated on emissions tests in what became known as “Dieselgate” after news of systematic cheating became public in September 2015.