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German automakers agree to reduce diesel emissions

Published 03 August 2017

German automakers including Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler have agreed to upgrade more than 5 million newer diesel vehicles across Europe and to offer rebates for older models.

The upgrades are expected to cut down pollution from diesel vehicles. This move has been taken by the automakers to avoid high priced fixes in the coming times and to avoid ban on diesel vehicles across the country.

The automakers claim that they plan to upgrade software in their respective cars, which can help in reducing harmful emissions to about a third.

The automakers have also agreed to provide incentives for diesel vehicles that are ten years or older to be traded with modern counterparts that are less polluting.

An emergency meeting was held in Germany’s capital city of Berlin, where the automakers decided to go ahead with the present plan.

The software upgrade is expected to replace the expensive hardware fix, which Volkswagen had experienced last year in the dieselgate scandal. Representatives of the automakers, stated that the software upgrade can help in controlling the emissions, while not compromising on performance.

In 2015, Volkswagen admitted that over the years, it has fitted defeat devices in more than 11 million vehicles, across the world.

Telegraph quoted Mercedes-Benz management board chairman Dieter Zetsche saying: “Our goal is to improve diesel rather than ban it.

“As long as e-cars still have a small market share, optimising diesel is the most effective lever to reach climate targets in road transport.”

For many years now, Germany has banked upon diesel by providing heavy incentives to it as a fuel. Automakers have also invested heavily on diesel technology.

Presently, it is estimated that the automotive industry employs a fifth of the total workforce in the country, while adding to about half of its trade surplus. Thus, by banning diesel engines in the country, the economy can put at risk.

Recently, Germany’s neighbouring countries including France, the UK and Norway announced their plans to completely ditch internal combustion engines, including both petrol and diesel.

Image: BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler to upgrade diesel engines in EU. Photo: Courtesy of Daria Schulte/FreeImages.com.