No need for new hardware
It’s hard to overstate how bad the 2015 diesel emissions scandal has been for Volkswagen. One recent estimate put the total cost close to a whopping $30 billion USD. Add in the long list of criminal charges, the conviction of one executive, and the resignation of several others, and you get a situation that few smaller companies could have survived. The fallout from the scandal has also called the future of all diesel vehicles into question. If you ask one supplier, though, we shouldn’t count diesel out just yet.
According to the latest report from Bloomberg, Robert Bosch GmbH claims to have developed an exhaust system that reduces diesel emissions to a tenth of the legal limit. It also allegedly requires no new hardware and works just as well at cold temperatures. If the system works as well as Bosch says it does, automakers may be able to avoid pending bans on diesel vehicles.
“With this new exhaust technology, blanket driving bans in the centers of the world’s major cities will no longer be an issue. Why? Because we now have the technology to resolve the problem of nitrogen oxides in road traffic,” said Volkmar Denner, Bosch’s CEO, at a press conference.
Bosch hasn’t said how much the system will cost to implement. Still, the biggest downside to Bosch’s diesel emissions control system is that it will reportedly only work on new vehicles. Because of that, owners won’t be able to retrofit diesels that are already on the road.
There’s also the question of how trustworthy Bosch is. Many of the components used in Volkswagen’s cheating diesel engines were made by Bosch, and at least one lawsuit has been filed alleging the supplier was a co-conspirator. Reuters also reported recently that German regulators may expand their investigation into Bosch’s alleged role in the scandal.
But as Denner told Bloomberg, the company has banned software that recognizes when emissions tests are being conducted, and it no longer allows automakers to modify its products to perform better during testing.