BMW confirms commitment to diesel technology despite political opposition

Article by Christian A., on October 9, 2018

Quite a number of carmakers are already reducing or even stopping their lineup of diesel-powered vehicles, as sparked by the diesel emissions scandal at the Volkswagen Group. Nonetheless, German premium automaker BMW seems not affected by backlash against diesel engines. Instead, BMW has just confirmed its commitment to diesel technology.

As quoted by Australian magazine GoAuto at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, BMW AG board member for development Klaus Froehlich boasted of the carmaker’s accomplishments in the field of diesel technology. He remarked that from BMW’s perspective, the development of diesel engines is quite dramatic as the carmaker has managed to develop cleaner diesel-powered mills.

Moreover, Froehlich claimed at Paris that BMW has the best diesel engine, adding that all tests have shown that the German premium carmaker’s offerings have the lowest emissions among diesel-powered vehicles.

With this, Froehlich reaffirmed that BMW remains committed to diesel technology, despite the intensifying political hatred against it in Europe. More and more authorities, both national and local, are crafting legislations. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the government is planning ban non-hybrid cars by 2040. German cities are now allowed ban older diesel cars from city centers. The German city of Hamburg is already implementing a ban on Euro 5 and older diesels in certain areas.

Even European commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska has called diesel cars as “the technology of the past,” adding that they would completely disappear in the near term. She noted that the Dieselgate scandal at VW has public sentiment shifting towards cleaner vehicles.

But Froehlich hit European politicians for intensifying the hatred against diesel engines after the Dieselgate scandal. He noted that every politician in Europe is seeing one solution, which is diesel bashing. Froehlich remarked that from carbon dioxide emissions and customer perspective, a modern diesel engine presents a very good solution, especially when used in heavy, high-performing cars.

While VW is planning to have around half of its vehicle range electrified by 2025, with Porsche already dropping diesel-powered cars from its lineup, BMW is committing to continue producing diesel-powered vehicles.

Nonetheless, according to Froehlich, BMW may offer fewer diesel-powered versions of its vehicles in the long term, thereby simplifying its offerings. For instance, its 3.0-liter diesel engine is offered in three different engine specs: with a single turbocharger; with twin turbocharger; and with quad turbocharger. In the future, BMW may retain one of these specs, with two levels of performance.

Froehlich added that BMW’s straight-six and inline-for diesel engine will stay, with at least four power derivatives. He noted that high-end diesel engines present a challenge in terms of complying with future emissions regulations. Moreover, the market for such engines is small.

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