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Jun 13, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Diesel engines: A Bosch innovation could delay the switch to electric cars

By making diesel engines less polluting, Bosch could indirectly contribute to a slowing down in the transition towards electric cars among European constructors. The German giant has perfected an exhaust system which would enable automotive manufacturers to avoid penalties and bans on the most harmful diesel vehicles.

With their presentation in early May of a new less polluting exhaust system for diesel engines, Bosch could well have slowed down the development of electric vehicles. The German group has confirmed that this new technology significantly limits the emission of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, according to Forbes, and could therefore encourage automotive manufacturers to curb their enthusiasm for doing away with diesel.


Waning popularity of diesel


Market tendencies could end up being changed according to a report from Fitch Ratings. With the health-related dangers of diesel now being widely accepted, measures had recently been taken to limit its usage. Environmentalists are in particular demanding a ban on vehicles in city centres and the end of the grants that these engines enjoy in Europe.

Strict limits have also been laid down in terms of pollution and consumption. If automotive manufacturers fail to comply, they risk incurring fines from 2020, with possible bans on traffic and subsequent falling sales. This should serve to motivate them to pull out all the stops when it comes to producing a wider range of electric cars.


Less pressure to switch to electric cars


However, the figures put forward by Bosch in terms of the pollution generated by its new exhaust clearly show that vehicles equipped with this innovative system will come in below the limits set out by the authorities. With the risk of heavy and indeed restrictive penalties removed, the big names in the automobile world may well be tempted to take longer to ramp up their switch to electric vehicles.

"This new exhaust technology means that traffic bans on certain vehicles in the main cities will no longer be an issue," states Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner in the April edition of Automotive News. "Why? Because we currently have the technology to enable us to solve the nitrogen oxide problem."

"If this solution is as miraculous as Bosch claims, it could allow constructors to move more progressively over to electric vehicles," Fitch Ratings analysts confirmed. Before this phenomenon can hit the market, however, the system’s performances need to be proven and then automotive manufacturers will have to fit it to their various models.


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