Millions of Germans depend on their cars. Many couldn’t even carry out their jobs without a car. Those who have to drive or commute to work frequently chose to buy cars with diesel engines. With good reason: Driving many miles on one tank of fuel and being on the road in an environmentally friendly manner while conserving resources – that was the basic idea many employees had in mind. In the meantime, many diesel cars (and their drivers) have become the pariahs of the nation. The emotional debate surrounding diesel driving bans during the last few years has made large swaths of the population extremely uncertain.
An objective discussion – at last!
The diesel discussion is becoming more objective – finally, one might add. The voices and positions are getting more differentiated. Advantages and actual risks posed by diesel technology are increasingly being discussed in a less prejudicial manner among experts, doctors – especially lung specialists, in the media and social networks. At the same time, factual situation is complex and often confusing. The sustainability of Diesel powertrain technology is mostly measured referring to emission values of CO-2, nitrogen dioxide (NO-X), and particular matter. Furthermore, actual proposals to improve the environmental audit are often based on highly problematic assumptions – a speed limit on highways, higher gas prices or a statal quorum for electric cars, for example. But how effective would those measures be? But how does a sober environmental audit of diesel vehicles look like?