German OEMs to upgrade emissions control on 5.3M Euro 5 and 6 diesels, contribute to €500M Sustainable Mobility fund
German auto manufacturers will optimize the emissions systems in 5.3 million currently approved Euro 5 and 6 diesels in the country, according to the outcome of the “National Diesel Forum” held in Berlin today between the automotive industry and the German Federal and state governments. The aim is a 30% reduction in NOx emissions from these vehicles by the end of 2018. The automakers will bear the entire cost of the retrofitting, estimated by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) to be at least €500 million.
Among other actions detailed in the declaration of the Forum, the automakers will fund a €500-million “Sustainable mobility for the city” fund. The aim is to develop and implement an individual master plan (“green-city plan”) for each of the 28 regions designated by the EU Commission particularly affected by high NO2 pollution, with digitization, intelligent transport systems, intermodal mobility solutions and with increasing automation and networking in individual and public passenger transport.
With respect to the emissions updates, the OEMs must also provide proof that the changes do not negatively impact any other parameters relevant for type approval—such as pollutant and CO2 emissions, fuel consumption, noise and engine power.
A consumer advisory board will be set up for the consumers in the Federal Office of Motor Vehicles.
The Federal and state governments also expect the manufacturers to use self-financed competitive measures to provide incentives for the change of pre-Euro-5 diesel vehicles to vehicles with the latest exhaust gas aftertreatment or electric vehicles.
For Euro-6 vehicles, the manufacturers must also state explicitly that the technically optimal function of the SCR catalytic converter is ensured in all newly registered vehicles in all driving situations on the road. This applies in particular to the use of urea for exhaust gas purification in achieving the highest efficiency achieved in this process.
|At Wednesday’s National Diesel Forum. Left to right: Rupert Stadler (Audi), Dr. Herbert Diess (Volkswagen), Matthias Müller (Volkswagen), Dr. Dieter Zetsche (Daimler), Harald Krüger (BMW), Matthias Wissman (President of VDA). Click to enlarge.
In attendance from the government side were Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure; Dr. Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of the Interior; Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy; Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research; as well as the Prime Ministers of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, of the Saarland and the Governing Mayor of Berlin and the First Mayor of Hamburg .
Excessively high pollution affects air quality in many German cities. Nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) in particular require comprehensive efforts to improve the health protection of citizens. Although NOx emissions were reduced by just under 60% between 1990 and 2015, the NOx load in 28 German cities and agglomerations is still higher—in some cases significantly higher—than the EU-imposed limit values.
…The most urgent task therefore is the reduction of NOx pollution from diesel vehicles as well as the further optimization of diesel technology—for the health protection of citizens, in the interest of the quality of life and functionality of our cities and for the mobility needs of citizens and the economy.
…In today’s talks, the federal government and the federal states have made it clear that they have a rapid, comprehensive and robustly effective immediate program to reduce the NOx load on diesel engines in service as well as significant technological efforts to improve diesel technology. This also includes the further optimization of the diesel drive. A strong contribution is needed to support the acutely affected municipalities to avoid flat-rate driving bans for diesel vehicles within the scope of their air pollution plans.
…In addition, a broad understanding and a clear strategy of the future are to be developed in order to actively shape the mobility of the future and the transformation process of the entire automobile industry towards emission-free and digitally networked mobility. The industry is now required to bring a convincing range of alternative drives and mobility solutions to market maturity on this basis.
… On the way to emission-free vehicles, the possibilities for optimization and efficiency potential still present in combustion technology must not be ignored. In this sense, modern and clean diesel technology can also contribute to climate protection. Combustion engines will be necessary in the foreseeable future for individual mobility and freight transport. Motor vehicle owners are also entitled to the protection of their trust. We will also examine the contribution of synthetic fuels to the reduction of pollutants and greenhouse gases. We pursue a technology-oriented approach.—Declaration of the National Diesel Forum
Other measure outlined in the declaration include:
Strengthening state control. The German KBA will also test exhaust emissions even with approved vehicles. For this purpose, the KBA will regularly remove vehicles from the market and check them for compliance. The KBA will also carry out its sampling controls on vehicles for which other authorities have granted the type approval. These measures have already been launched in connection with the publication of the report on the Volkswagen investigation commission of the BMVI. Road measurements will also be carried out to check the NOx reduction. The Federal Government will report on the results.
Further steps required. The technical upgrades are only a first step towards reducing the NOx emissions of diesel engines in cities. Automakers must develop and present technically feasible and economically justifiable concepts for further upgrading of emissions controls—for example, through the installation of additional exhaust gas purification systems. The automotive industry is also required to apply the European regulations concerning the introduction of RDE much earlier. To this end, the German manufacturers will submit a concept by October 2017.
Promotion programs for improved air quality and sustainable mobility. Targeted support programs provide important impulses for the reduction of pollutant emissions. The Federal Government will therefore expand and expand the support platforms for pollution-reducing measures in urban transport.
E buses. A main focus will be on electric buses. The subsidy for the purchase of electric buses in public transport will be raised to 80% and the total subsidy volume increased to €100 million euros per year. The promotion of hybrid buses as well as natural gas buses (CNG) will be continued and intensified.
Purchase subsidies for low-emission municipal commercial vehicles. Also for this segment, more electrified solutions are to be developed and implemented.
Municipal acquisition of E-vehicles. The subsidy of 40% of the additional investment costs for municipal taxis and vehicles will be increased. In addition, the municipalities will be given the opportunity, by means of changes in the right to transport passengers, to impose higher emission requirements on inner-city operation than in the past.
Rail transport. The Federal Government will expand the existing subsidy of hybrid trains and / or trains with hydrogen and fuel cell technology , which are significantly lower in comparison to pure diesel engines.
Land power supply in sea and inland ports. The reduction of pollutant emissions from ships during lunches is an important contribution to air pollution in port cities.