Instead of banning cars in inner cities, we should focus on reducing NOx emissions sustainably with intelligent solutions.
According to a study by the VDA (Association of the German Automotive Industry), replacing old cars currently on the road in combination with measures that policymakers and the automotive industry agreed on at the diesel summit on August 2 in Germany can reduce NOx emissions from automobiles by 12 to 14 percent by the beginning of 2019.
Like in the past years, the NOx values in cities like Stuttgart, Mainz, Ludwigshafen and Koblenz have continued to go down also in 2017. This shows that the measures that have been initiated by the communities and the industry and in particular the replacement of the existing vehicle population can effectively improve air quality in cities.
The announced software updates will achieve an average reduction in our vehicles’ NOx emissions of 25 to 30 percent in normal driving conditions. For example, in a test carried out on our V-Class by the magazine auto motor and sport (issue 17/2017), NOx emissions fell by more than 80 percent after the software update. This reduction is just one example and certainly this level cannot be achieved with all vehicles, but nevertheless: Software updates reduce NOx emissions quickly and effectively in many model series.
Our experience with the ongoing service campaign shows that the updates are very well accepted by our customers: Since March 2017, we have already been able to install a software update in around 80 percent of our compact class with our entry level engines (OM 607).
Of course, we are also looking extensively into the issue of „hardware solutions“. However, our position on that has not changed, because we see serious disadvantages:
- An implementation under the current conditions would take a long time in terms of development, testing and certification – at least 2 to 3 years, for the great majority of models even longer.
- A hardware modification generally means a deep intervention into the control system and the vehicle architecture. There is no secured knowledge yet about what impact the modifications have during continuous operation of a vehicle. In particular, it must be ensured that the modified systems fulfill their full functionality over the long term and meet our standards in terms of quality and safety.
- If at all technically feasible, in our opinion, effective hardware solutions would cost thousands of Euros per vehicle.
Because of these reasons, we are concentrating on in our view feasible solutions like for example the quick introduction of software updates and Euro 6d Temp certified vehicles as well as an extension of the exchange premium.