Greenpeace Germany sues Volkswagen over emissions targets

By Jarryd Neves, Motoring correspondent

2015 saw one of the biggest automotive scandals hit German carmaker, Volkswagen. Known as Dieselgate, the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) uncovered that Volkswagen had been intentionally engineering its turbodiesel engines (known as TDI) to sense when an emissions drive cycle test was in process.

The software, fitted to more than 500,000 vehicles in the States, tarnished VW’s reputation and resulted in myriad fines and lawsuits. So far, it has cost the company over €30bn.

The German arm of environmental group, Greenpeace, has taken legal action against the carmaker. According to Automotive News Europe, the independent campaigning network claimed Volkswagen isn’t doing its part to combat climate change.

Among Greenpeace Germany’s demands are that the 84-year-old carmaker cease production of internal combustion-engine (ICE) cars by 2030 while reducing carbon emission levels by 65% from 2018 levels. Automotive News Europe reports that VW has refused the demands.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe – the organisation that recently accused Mercedes-Benz of emissions cheating – has gone through with a lawsuit similar to Greenpeaces, filing against Mercedes parent company Daimler, and BMW. In this instance, both premium automakers rejected the demands to end production of ICE vehicles by 2030 and limit CO2 emissions.

Speaking to Reuters, a VW spokesperson commented that while the brand ultimately stands for climate protection and “decarbonising the transport sector, it cannot tackle this challenge alone.

While Volkswagen maintains it will not stop making combustion-engined cars by 2030, the company said earlier in the year it will no longer make ICE vehicles in Europe by 2035. Currently, the brand offers three electric vehicles for sale in the UK (eUp!, ID.3 and ID.4) with a fourth model on the way.

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