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  5. Volkswagen Group makes significant contribution to air quality improvement with environmental incentive

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Volkswagen Group makes significant contribution to air quality improvement with environmental incentive

  • Positive assessment of environmental incentive by Group brands – demand exceeds
  •  150,000 Volkswagen Group customers have claimed the environmental incentive to date
  • Old EU1 to EU4 vehicles have been scrapped and replaced by current models  
  • Renewal of vehicle fleet thanks to the environmental incentive is the fastest and most sustainable approach to air quality improvement 
  • Software updates bring further essential NOx reductions averaging about 25% for the vehicles concerned
  • In many German cities, air quality improved compared with the previous year
  • Environmental incentive also provides customers with very good reason for switching to alternative powertrains

Six months after the introduction of the environmental incentive, the Volkswagen Group has given a positive interim assessment. “Since August 2017, more customers in Germany than expected have decided to use the Volkswagen Group’s environmental incentive to switch to a current model in line with the Euro 6 standard,” says Fred Kappler, Head of Group Sales of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. Thanks to the environmental incentive, some 150,000 EU 1 to EU 4 vehicles have been taken off the roads and scrapped. This way, the Group brands have made a key contribution to improving air quality, especially in cities – at measurement stations near to roads, the improvement was up to 12%. In a total of 20 more cities than in the previous year, it was possible to comply with pollutant concentration limits. Further general improvements in air quality were achieved in many other cities.

With the environmental incentive, the Volkswagen Group and its brands Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are pursuing the objective of reducing the age of the vehicle fleet with low-emission EU 6 vehicles. In view of the considerable demand from customers and the associated positive effect on the environment, the Volkswagen Group brands decided at the end of 2017 to extend the environmental incentive program up to March 31, 2018. This will give owners of EU 1 to EU 4 vehicles the possibility of changing over to a modern vehicle in line with current environmental, technical and safety standards.

Environmental incentive and software update have a pronounced effect
The environmental incentive, with the resulting replacement of EU 1 to EU 4 vehicles, is the fastest and most sustainable approach to improving air quality. The positive effect on people and the environment can also be expressed in figures. “Customers’ changeover to a new model will already reduce emissions by 1,995 tonnes of NOx1). Adding in the NOx savings of 8,550 tonnes as a result of the software update on 2.25 million vehicles to date, the total reduction will amount to more than 10,000 tonnes of NOx2), corresponding to about 2 % of the entire annual NOx output of the German traffic sector,” says Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Head of Group Research and Development. He adds: “Impartial measurements made by organizations such as ADAC, Emission Analytics and Deutsche Umwelthilfe show that the Volkswagen Group’s modern EU6 diesels are among the vehicles with the lowest NOx emissions.“

1)150,000 vehicles* 19,000km* 700mg reduction. Assumption: vehicles are replaced by EU6-RDE and electric vehicles; starting point: 800mg NOx (EU4 and earlier)
2) 2,250,000 vehicles* 19,000km per year* 200mg NOx reduction

Very good argument for changing over to alternative drive systems

With the environmental incentive, the Volkswagen Group brands have kept the promise made at the 2017 diesel summit to promote lower-emission mobility. More than that, in combination with the “future incentive”, this program makes it even more attractive for customers to change over to especially environmentally compatible models with alternative powertrains (electric, hybrid or natural gas). Over the past six months, every 12th customer using the environmental incentive opted for an alternative powertrain from the Volkswagen Group. This way, the Group brands are also making a key contribution to the nationwide penetration of technologies such as e-mobility in Germany.