LONDON – Though forging ahead with electrification plans, BMW is reiterating its defense of diesel powertrains as being more climate-friendly than gasoline engines.

As part of its Sheer Driving Pleasure” strategy, the German automaker is proposing its own scrappage scheme to upgrade older diesels to the latest Euro 6 emissions standards.

“Modern, efficient diesel engines ensure lower (carbon-dioxide) emissions and therefore make an important contribution to protecting the environment,” BMW says in a statement. “In addition, when it comes to many unwanted emissions, diesels are just as clean or even cleaner than petrol engines.

“This can certainly be said of particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon-monoxide emissions, meaning that three of the four major diesel pollutant issues have been resolved and no longer have any adverse effect on air quality.

“This is why the BMW Group is calling for objective discussions based on facts and scientific evidence.”

In addition to supporting the National Diesel Forum lobby group, BMW is committing to its own initiatives, including:

  • Preparing a Europe-wide fleet-renewal campaign where, until Dec. 31, owners of diesel vehicles that meet Euro 4 standards or less will be granted a trade-in bonus of up to €2,000 ($2,363), depending on the new BMW or Mini model purchased. The offer is good on the purchase of a BMW i3, any plug-in hybrid model or a Euro 6-compliant vehicle with CO2 emissions up to 130 g/km.
  • Employing experience gained through on-road driving between 2010 and 2015, BMW will offer an additional optimization of the exhaust-treatment system for 225,000 of the Euro 5 models currently on the road in Germany – at no cost to the customer.
  • Investing in the Sustainable Urban Mobility fund and using digitalization to support major cities to better handle traffic volumes and help reduce emissions. It also is intensifying dialogue with municipal authorities to establish better conditions for increased electric mobility and car-sharing.

“For almost two years now, diesel technology which is cutting-edge, highly efficient and popular with customers has been deliberately and publicly discredited,” BMW Chairman Harald Krüger says. This has caused tremendous uncertainty among millions of drivers and it’s not going to get us anywhere.

“The German automotive industry will remain strong in innovation. We will provide tomorrow’s mobility solutions.”

BMW repeatedly has made clear its exhaust-treatment technologies are different from others available in the market, and the company continues to seek true competition in this area. It rejects allegations made by some media of non-compliant technology employed in diesel exhaust-treatment systems.

“Investigations by authorities at home and abroad confirm that vehicles by the BMW Group are not rigged for testing purposes,” Krüger says.

In 2017, the BMW Group expects sales of its electrified vehicles to exceed 100,000 for the first time in a single year, with the all-electric BMW i3, BMW i8, BMW iPerformance plug-in hybrids and the plug-in hybrid version of the Mini Countryman all contributing to the totals.