Diesel hybrids ‘could return’
VW is pushing ahead with fresh diesel engine technology to meet tighter rules on particulate emissions – but the company hasn’t given up on the idea of electrifying its diesel engines either.
VW believes it can reduce the amount of NOX emissions on its diesel engines by as much as 40 per cent by 2020, mostly through improved exhaust after-treatment. However, Markus Köhne, a senior diesel engineer, said diesel electrification – ditched by almost all car companies in the past few years, on grounds of cost and complexity – could also return by early in the next decade. “We are looking at all possibilities,” Köhne said, “including what benefits 48v mild hybrid technology could have, especially with the idea of running in cold temperatures and helping to control NOX emissions spikes”.