Porsche stalls polluting fuel amid ‘dieselgate’ and EV push

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Luxury car manufacturer, Porsche says it will ditch diesel engines from its product portfolio. The company cites strong consumer interest in electric vehicles and lagging demand for diesel engines as reasons for the move.

According to a company announcement, Porsche already sees 63% of European sales of its Panamera model accounted for by the hybrid version. By contrast, demand for its diesels is dropping globally. Reportedly, diesel engines accounted for a mere 12% of its global sales last year. Since February this year, Porsche has not had a diesel engine in its portfolio.

“Porsche is not demonizing diesel,” said Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG. “It is and will remain, an important propulsion technology. We as a sports car manufacturer however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, [and] have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free. Naturally, we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect.”

Porsche will reportedly have invested more than €6 billion ($7bn) in e-mobility by 2022. Aside from its hybrid models, Porsche is set to launch its all-electric Taycan next year.

The company says the car’s manufacturing process is carbon neutral and an ultra-fast charging network across Europe would be supplied with green electricity. The manufacturer also says it believes that by 2025 every second new Porsche could have an electric drive, either hybrid or all-electric.

The sports carmaker – a subsidiary of Volkswagen, which was at the center of the emissions scandal – did not mention the legal repercussions of dieselgate as a reason for this move. Regional courts in Germany recently ruled a temporary driving ban for diesel cars in the event of severe smog conditions would be generally permissible, causing uncertainty among the German owners of diesel cars.

Europe recently passed the 1 million EV mark on its roads, and the numbers are expected to climb fast. Falling battery costs and ever-improving charging infrastructure, as well as government incentives, are drivers of EV adoption.

The mobility sector accounts for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. While heating and cooling, and electricity have managed to make reductions over the last two decades – by incorporating 25% of renewable energy resources into their respective fields, mobility remains a headache for policymakers.

Until now the sector has included just 3% renewable energy into its composition. Instead of reducing carbon emissions, transport has increased its carbon output since 1990. Even though engines have become more efficient, cars have consistently become bigger and more powerful, offsetting the effect.