By Conrad Malinowski
Porsche Chief Executive Officer Oliver Blume announced on Sept. 22 that the company plans to end its production of diesel engines.
Blume told Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper, that Porsche will no longer develop and sell diesel engine models, but will turn to hybrid and electric versions instead, according to Auto Week.
In August, Porsche unveiled its first all-electric car, the Porsche Taycan. This model is the first step in Porsche’s vision of having every second car it sells be electrified by 2025, according to Electrive.com.
The Taycan is expected to go into production at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen plant in 2019 with a projected production of around 15,000 to 20,000 units per year, according to Auto Week.
This decision comes in the wake of “Dieselgate,” the emissions scandal that rocked the Volkswagen Group, a 12-brand automotive colossus based out of Wolfsburg, Germany of which Porsche is a member.
In 2017, the group faced $4.3 billion in fines for intentionally cheating on emissions tests for six years.
They did this by using “defeat devices,” which made cars appear much more emission-friendly during a test, while on the road the cars would create up to 40 times more emissions than what the tests showed, according to The New York Times.
Eleven million cars were programmed to cheat tests between 2009 and 2015, and 500,000 of these cars came to the U.S., according to The New York Times.
Former CEO of Volkswagen and Former Chairman of Audi and Porsche Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud, conspiracy and violation of the Clean Air Act in a U.S. indictment in May 2018, according to The New York Times.
Earlier this month, Winterkorn’s legal team announced that he would not testify in a Dieselgate lawsuit brought on by investors after the company’s stock dropped by 37 percent as a result of the scandal, according to Auto Week.
In response to the multinational ordeal that unfolded in the wake of Dieselgate, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German politicians have discussed whether or not to force manufacturers to upgrade older diesel cars to fight air pollution, according to Reuters.