Audi Tells Obama, “Forget Plug-Ins, Think Biodiesel”

John Davis

The top executive at Audi’s U.S. offices says American political leaders need to think less about plug-in electric vehicles and more about vehicles that run on biodiesel, as well as standardizing the rules for biodiesel.

The Detroit News reports that Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen made the remarks at Washington, D.C.’s National Press Club, where he told the audience that despite the current administration’s love of extended-range electric cars, such as the Chevy Volt, that technology is not financially viable:

“I understand why political leaders have fallen in love with hybrids and electrics. But this may be the one time you’ll hear someone in Washington say it shouldn’t be a monogamous relationship,” de Nysschen said.

President Barack Obama, however, is one of those enthusiastic backers of electric vehicles. The administration awarded $2.4 billion in cash grants in August to spur electric vehicle and battery improvements. He wants 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015…

De Nysschen favors using diesel technology and allowing the marketplace to pick the winners and losers. He urged the government not to be “prejudging winning and losing technologies” and urged more work to standardize biodiesel rules.

He noted that if one-third of U.S. vehicles used diesel power, “America would save 1.5 million barrels of oil a day” — the same amount the United States imports from Saudi Arabia daily.

Of course, Audi’s pushing of biodiesel is not just coincidental. The article points out that half of the company’s European sales are diesels, and Audi has a couple of diesels on the U.S. market, including the A3 TDI, which just picked up the “Green Car of the Year” award during recent Los Angeles Auto Show.

Biodiesel, Car Makers, Government