While diesel engine technology is still in the doghouse after the various emissions scandals of the last two years, at least one company with deep roots in diesel engines has stated boldly that it sees a brighter future for diesels. Daimler’s Board of Management has approved what it said is a comprehensive plan for diesel engines and said it is “convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive system mix.”
“The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty – especially for our customers,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology.
“We are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions.”
The plan comprises a substantial expansion of the current service action for vehicles in customers’ hands as well as a rapid market launch of a completely new diesel engine family.
Since March, Mercedes-Benz has offered its customers of compact-class cars an improvement in NOx emissions for one engine version. Approximately 45 percent of those cars have meanwhile been updated. A voluntary service action is also being carried out for V-Class customers – so far with approximately 75% of the vehicles in Germany.
The measures to be taken for nearly all EU5 and EU6 vehicles in Europe will be carried out in close cooperation with the German regulatory authorities. The company said it is investing about €220 million. The service actions involve no costs for customers and the implementation will be starting in the next few weeks, the company said.
The company also said it has developed a new generation of engines whose emissions performance has been confirmed by independent institutes. Following the market launch of the new four-cylinder OM 654 engine in the new E-Class in 2016, the launch of the modular engine family will now be implemented rapidly across the entire model portfolio, the company said. Daimler said it spent €3 billion to develop the new engine.
Daimler said it will also continue with the systematic electrification of its vehicles, with mobility services such as moovel and car2go, and with increasingly clean combustion engines.