Volkswagen Ag’s cheating of diesel emission tests in the US has attracted intense scrutiny both in America and in other countries on the company and the automotive industry itself, with carmakers now looking again at alternatives to provide cleaner models.
The petrol and diesel engines are still under no immediate threat – even as Toyota has decided to reduce its emissions from models by 90 percent – simply because both engine technologies are deeply rooted into the automotive industry. But the emerging trends – such as automation – as well as the desire from authorities around the world to limit polluting emissions will make the carmakers focus even faster on other, alternative, engine technologies. “Automakers have made great progress” towards higher fuel efficiency that also brings a reduction of emissions as they strive to reach the standards set for 2025 in the US, according to analyst Michelle Krebs. “Far greater than the skeptics expected.” Coincidence or not, Japan’s Toyota announced soon after the VW dieselgate scandal erupted it was planning to concentrate mostly on hybrids and fuel cell cars in order to reach its green goal set for 2050. And VW also pledged to manufacture a new range of models that use electricity.
“The challenge is getting people to buy electric vehicles and hybrids,” adds Krebs. “Low oil prices and a strong economy make it harder.” And they do offer now more options to the rich than the common consumers – with models such as Tesla’s Model S, BMW’s i8 or the upcoming Cadillac CT6 plug in hybrid. Even diesels can be clean when they follow the rules and its advantages – power and performance with increased fuel efficiency – have won their fans.