VW’s Diesel Scandal Could Hurt Biodiesel

John Davis

VWA growing scandal that Volkswagen created software to let its diesel vehicles cheat some environmental tests could have implications for the even greener fuel biodiesel. This story from CBS News says VW cheating on diesel with possibly as many as 11 million vehicles doesn’t help the fuel’s greener cousin.

“It’s a shame when someone tries to cheat this test because it’s an important yardstick for us to make sure the car will provide cleaner driving,” [Andre Boehman, professor of mechanical engineering at University of Michigan and a self-described diesel-vehicle fan] said. “It would make me a little more careful in my shopping for which vehicle to purchase, although it may be hard for a consumer to know if vehicles are operating the way” the automaker states it should be.

For some diesel enthusiasts, the idea of driving a car that’s easier on the environment — diesel-engine fuel efficiency can be as much as 30 percent higher than gas-powered cars, and diesel cars can also use biodiesel fuel — is the main draw. The cars were not only billed as virtuous to drive, since they consume less fuel than gas-powered cars, but fun, too…

Current owners of Volkswagen diesel vehicles are feeling burned, with some saying that they bought their cars for their fuel efficiency and minimal impact on the environment, which now appears to be a lie.

“I am very disappointed that VW willfully decided to lie not only to the government, but to its customers,” one car owner wrote on Volkswagen’s Facebook page. “Many of us have been fans of the brand through thick and thin for entire lifetimes. I currently own two diesels and I feel betrayed and cheated.”

Meanwhile, Volkswagen is trying to regain that trust and issued the following statement:

Volkswagen does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever. It is and remains the top priority of the Board of Management to win back lost trust and to avert damage to our customers. The Group will inform the public on the further progress of the investigations constantly and transparently.

Biodiesel, Car Makers