Statement by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) for the conference of environment ministers
It would be fundamentally mistaken to give diesels a bad name. Modern Euro 6 diesel vehicles have up to 25 percent better fuel economy and up to 15 percent lower CO2 emissions than gasoline vehicles. So anyone who says “Yes” to climate protection will find that diesels are essential. The environment ministers of the German states are also aware of that.
Furthermore, nitrogen oxide emissions from Euro 6 vehicles are around two thirds lower than those from their predecessors – both in the laboratory and on the roads. New Euro 6 diesels are clean and economical. The more of them that come onto the roads quickly, the better it will be for air quality.
In Western Europe over half of all new cars sold are diesels. And half of the new diesels sold in Western Europe bear a German group badge. In the future diesels will continue to play a major role in Western Europe.
Those wishing to put the brakes on modern diesels will move further away from the CO2 target and hindering climate protection. That cannot be what policy is aiming for.
People who call for increased petroleum tax on diesel should also mention that the motor-vehicle tax on diesel passenger cars is roughly double that on gasoline-powered cars. To compensate for this cost disadvantage, a diesel car has to do a high mileage every year. It would also send out the wrong climate-policy signal if the most CO2-efficient internal combustion engine was made more expensive.
Because diesels have such good fuel economy, they dominate company cars: 68 percent of all newly registered company cars have a diesel engine. German group brands account for 86 percent of all new registrations of company cars. Out of the 3.2 million passenger cars newly registered in Germany in 2015, a good third were company cars. Anyone who attempts to increase the already heavy taxation on company cars – which is not a subsidy – would be harming a key part of domestic passenger car production.