12 Jun 2018, 00:00
Sören Amelang Edgar Meza

Dieselgate ensnares Daimler / Germany rejects EU renewable ambitions

Handelsblatt Global / Reuters

Daimler’s decision to recall 774,000 diesel Mercedes cars in Europe has increased doubts about the veracity of the carmaker’s claim that its vehicles never had emissions-cheating devices like those used by Volkswagen, Handelsblatt reports. The company ordered the recall after Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche met for the second time in two weeks with German transport minister Andreas Scheuer, who had threatened the automaker with steep fines unless it provided details on how many cars needed to be fixed by a given deadline. The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has identified five illegal switch-off functions in Mercedes models, according to a report in the daily newspaper Bild.
The government has ordered Daimler to immediately recall 238,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Germany, according to a Reuters report.

Read the Handelsblatt article in English here.

Read the Reuters article in English here.

For background, read the factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Daimler’s embroilment in the car emissions manipulation scandal shows that Germany’s most important industry is still miles away from coming clean, writes Markus Balser in a commentary for the Süddeutsche Zeitung entitled “A heavy blow for [Daimler CEO Dieter] Zetsche.” In sharp contrast to Zetsche’s earlier claim that Daimler hasn't cheated, “his company apparently didn’t have any better ideas than to put illegal emissions defeat software into almost 800,000 cars in Europe.”   

Read the commentary in German here.

For background, read the factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.


Munich prosecutors have named Rupert Stadler, CEO of Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand, a suspect in the diesel-rigging scandal after authorities on 11 June raided his home and that of a person said to be Bernd Martens, Audi’s head of purchasing, Bloomberg’s Karin Matussek and Chris Reiter report. The two executives are under investigation for fraud and falsifying public documents relating to sales of diesel cars in Europe. Stadler is the highest-ranking active official in a probe that is now focusing on upper management nearly three years after VW had admitted to rigging diesel-powered vehicles.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility and the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.


German energy minister Peter Altmaier has rejected calls from a group of EU countries to increase the share of renewables to between 33 and 35 percent of the bloc’s energy mix by 2030, Frédéric Simon writes in EURACTIV. Speaking at an 11 June Energy Council meeting in Luxembourg attended by the EU member states’ energy ministers, Altmaier said voters across Europe had lost faith in politics due in part to the “unachievable targets” on renewable energy, adding that Germany’s efforts to achieve its renewable energy targets cost German taxpayers 25 billion euros a year. “And if we are setting targets that are definitely above 30 percent, that means that within a decade, our share has to be more than doubled – clearly more than doubled,” he said, predicting that Germany would not be able to achieve its goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020.

Read the article in English here.

For more details on the talks in Luxembourg, read the article on Climate Home News.

German energy minister Peter Altmaier’s rejection of demands for higher renewable energy targets in the EU is “a clear violation” of existing agreements between ministries, according to Christoph Bals, policy director at the German NGO Germanwatch. "We expect minister Altmaier to explain why he is not complying with ministerial agreements, and we expect German Chancellor Angela Merkel to intervene and implement the ministerial agreements,” Bals says. With the power to tip the scales at the European Council, Altmaier “is not only blocking a moderately ambitious increase in EU targets for 2030, he is also plunging the government into political turbulence,” the organisation adds.

Read the press release in German here.

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Sven Egenter

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