General Motors may no longer do mass-market business in Europe, but the automaker opted to keep its Turin-based engineering center as it worked out a deal to sell Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Groupe.
At the Automotive News Europe Congress, General Motors powertrain executive Pierpaolo Antonioli said diesel still has a place in the world, but automakers need to act and take advantage of new technologies.
“Internal combustion engines, including the diesel, can still play a role in the years to come,” he said.
The GM executive pointed to new technology from Bosch, which introduced a new method to reduce NOx emissions to 13 milligrams per kilometer. The figures far outperform the current regulations of 80 mg/km allowed in current European regulations.
Another speaker at the event, Greg Archer, a director responsible for clean vehicles policy at the Brussels-based advocacy group Transport & Environment, said automakers must take responsibility and work with governments to ensure diesel engines pollute no more than a gasoline-powered engine.
He proposed cleaning up any affected diesel cars under former Euro 5 and Euro 6 regulations, supporting new regulations and a plan to fund cities’ clean-air plans.
In the meantime, diesel adoption rates continue to fall in the wake of new diesel-car bans. Germany will be first to instate a ban on older diesel cars in various parts of the country.