Damasky: Modern diesels are necessary for
reducing CO2 – digitization offers huge potential

Berlin, 25 October 2017

VDA Managing Director attends 34th German Logistics Congress — Search for parking spots can be greatly reduced

“A wide-ranging package of emission-reducing measures – such as software updates, trade-in bonuses and fleet renewal – can rapidly bring about a noticeable decrease in urban nitrogen oxide emissions in towns and cities. There are more intelligent measures than driving bans for improving air quality,” said Dr. Joachim Damasky, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking at the 34th German Logistics Congress organized by the German Logistics Association (BVL) in Berlin. Damasky discussed the “prospects for diesel powertrains in sustainable urban development” with Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin, Prof. Achim Kampker, CEO of Streetscooter GmbH, and Frank Dohmen, economics correspondent at the magazine Spiegel. Damasky stressed, “The air quality is better than some critics are claiming. Total traffic-related nitrogen oxide emissions across Germany fell by 70 percent from 1990 to 2015. So in the current discussion we are speaking only about certain ‘hotspots’ in some towns and cities, and not about a problem affecting the whole country.”

He pointed out that despite the advent of electric mobility, internal combustion engines – including efficient diesels just as much as gasoline engines – would remain indispensable for the foreseeable future. “We need modern diesels to achieve the European climate protection targets. They consume up to 25 percent less fuel than comparable gasoline vehicles, and emit 15 percent less CO2.”

In addition, Damasky explained, further efficiency gains of 10 to 15 percent would be possible with conventional powertrains in the coming years. And in the longer term “e-fuels” could ensure CO2-neutral mobility – which was particularly interesting with conventional powertrains – because these fuels bind just as much CO2 during their production as they release during combustion.

With a view to the slogan of the congress – “New thinking, digital living” –the VDA Managing Director drew attention to innovative solutions and concepts with which the German automotive industry was shaping the digitization of the mobility system. He added that German companies were set to spend 16 to 18 billion euros on digitization in the next three to four years. “In Germany 20 percent of congestion can be avoided through connected driving alone,” Damasky stated. “And digitization can reduce the amount of driving that goes on looking for a parking spot in towns and cities by even more than that.” He pointed out that the German automotive industry was already the world champion in patents for connected and automated driving: it holds 52 percent of all such patents issued anywhere in the world since 2010.

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