Volkswagen has reportedly suggested that the German government should ditch its subsidies that apply to diesel cars, in an effort to push people towards less polluting alternatives.
Yes, much like the naughty kid who, after being caught, squeals on all his friends and co-conspirators to get them in trouble as well, Volkswagen is now taking the moral high ground.
We can joke about it because we agree it’s in the best interests of the environment, or so science currently tells us until we know more about the knock-on effects of truly mass battery production and how the electricity to charge them will be produced.
That doesn’t stop it from being deeply ironic. The company that has so fiercely championed its ‘clean diesel’ technologies is quoted by a German newspaper (whose pages we can’t read because of our ad-blockers) as saying that the subsidies should be cut and the money redistributed.
Matthias Muller, Volkswagen’s head suit, is quoted as saying:
“We should question the logic and purpose of diesel subsidies.
“The money can be invested more sensibly to promote more environmentally friendly technologies.”
He is the first German car company boss to speak out against the subsidies that have been part of the country’s culture for years, put in place to help nudge people towards diesel cars and their lower carbon dioxide output. Remember when it was all about the hole in the ozone layer, not the damage to people’s lungs?
Volkswagen is well on track to bring several fully-electric cars to market in the next few years, so no one can really argue the firm isn’t trying to do the right thing by the environment these days. Whether the new EVs will be affordable in the current climate of steeply-rising new car prices, we’ll have to wait and see.