Elon Musk Says DieselGate Shows We've Reached the Limits of Conventional Engines

As we've previously told you, Tesla Motors has just launched a new factory in the Netherlands, and business is looking better than ever for our favorite "green" billionaire.
Elon Musk 1 photo
However, that doesn't mean he could just let pass an opportunity as golden as the one presented by the Volkswagen DieselGate without throwing some poisoned arrows in the direction of internal combustion engines.

Speaking in Belgium after the inauguration of the Dutch plant and quoted by, Mr. Musk was asked whether he thought the big scandal surrounding VW's diesel engines would cause consumers to lose faith in green technology.

If you're just as baffled as we are about this question, I think what the unnamed reporter was trying to say was this: diesels were considered a greener alternative to petrol engines, and thus were part of the "eco" movement. Their demise, then, might affect other green solutions such as EVs.

Now that we got that figured out, let's see what Elon Musk had to say about it: “I think it’s the opposite. What the Volkswagen […] is really showing is that we’ve reached the limit of what’s possible with diesel and gasoline. The time has come to move to a new generation of technology.
Now, what technology could that be?
Could Elon Musk be implying we should all switch over to electrically powered vehicles? Why on Earth would he do something like that?

Leaving all jokes aside, you have to wonder if he might not be right. Bear in mind that the same manufacturers who were telling us there is still plenty of potential to be drawn from ICEs (internal combustion engines) have just been caught lying their pants off about real-world emissions of the same engines.

Maybe we have indeed reached the limits of this technology. Maybe the only way to keep emissions down is going hybrid. Mercedes-Benz has all but confirmed this by announcing its plans to phase out diesel engines and replace them with petrol and electric hybrid powertrains. It seems like the diesel bubble has burst and whoever bet on electric and hybrid technology up to this point will soon collect the spoils.

Well, while the truth is certainly out there, it's still hiding behind fake numbers and well kept secrets.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories