Porsche will stop offering diesel versions of its cars, the Volkswagen unit announced on Sunday, outlining its aim to sharpen focus instead on hybrid and battery-powered vehicles.
“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said in a statement, Reuters reports.
“We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free,” the executive said.
Porsche’s existing diesel customers will continue to be served, according to Blume.
Porsche’s move follows a 2015 scandal in which parent Volkswagen admitted to deliberately cheating diesel emissions tests, causing a sector-wide crackdown on polluting diesel engines.
Porsche, which is investing more than 6 billion euros (US$7.1 billion) in electric mobility by 2022, said demand for diesel models is dropping.
Diesel vehicles accounted for 12 percent of Porsche cars worldwide in 2017.
“We have never developed and produced diesel engines ourselves. Still, Porsche’s image has suffered. The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” Blume said in a separate interview with weekly Bild am Sonntag.
Porsche has sold diesel versions of its cars for nearly a decade. It has not had a diesel in its line up since February. Next year, it will launch the Taycan, which it says is its first fully-electric sports car, Reuters noted.
According to Bild am Sonntag, Porsche is suspected of manipulating engines to improve their sound on the road at the expense of higher emissions, adding this function was not active in a testing environment.
Asked about this, Blume said: “In the individual case of the 8-cylinder Cayenne EU5, the Federal Motor Transport Authority has declared an engine charge control as not being in line with the law. This was about nitrogen oxide, not CO2.”
Blume said Porsche is owning up to the issue, adding that it affected about 13,500 diesel vehicles and that the carmaker is also examining petrol cars as a precautionary measure.
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