Diesel engines in cars of Volkswagen aren’t that much environmentally friendly as they say they are. We are talking about eleven million cars of Volkswagen and some more from different daughter-companies like Audi. Also BMW is accused for misrepresenting the emissions of their diesel engines. What happened?
Engines are tested on emission of gasses, like oxides of nitrogen. On a regular basis, they have to go on the chassis dynamometer, to test these emissions. Volkswagen has built software into their cars which estimates differently when they are tested, compared to when they are driving. According to EPA-research (Environmental Protection Agency), they exhaust forty times more oxides of nitrogen then tested. Volkswagen doesn’t deny that there has been made a mistake or that they didn’t know about it. They did it completely on purpose. They wanted to take the relative smaller market of the US from Toyota.
This not only means, that millions of cars in several countries are called back to change the software. It also means that Volkswagen can get a fine of sixteen milliard euros. Their image is damaged and several environmental organisations are addressing them about their swindle. The CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, has already resigned from his position. However, he will get a payment of, at least, thirty million euros. Volkswagen said that he can’t be held resp onsible for the scandal. It is the main task of a CEO to take his responsibility in times of crisis and not to leave a sinking ship. But Martin Winterkorn did, and gets paid for his service!
In a time when the environment, global warming and icecap melting are stressed more and more, this is a clear message to the rest of the world. We not only see again that money and self-interest is still the main driver for a big company, like Volkswagen. But we also see that the consternation about this scandal is huge. It can be used as a way to a more responsible, environmentally friendly future then we thought we were already aiming at.
We have to innovate radically in our cars, but also in other technics that aren’t ‘clean’ enough yet. There is a lot more that we can do. Environmental organisations do good work currently, but they aren’t supported in the best way. Most of the time they are seen as irritating, not as useful to improve the image of your company. Many other producers of diesel engines in cars can profit from the current situation. Companies in other markets will get afraid of the situation at Volkswagen and want to avoid that. Hopefully this leads to a revolution in the market. A revolutionary innovation, which is needed to keep our earth healthy and sustainable for future generations.
Let this be the Waterloo for many companies who are still violating the environmental laws. Citizens, together with governmental organisations, can act together against these violations of their health and the sustainability of the earth. Let’s force them to innovate radically!