Volkswagen crisis promises change in car technology: IEA chief

Volkswagen crisis promises change in car technology: IEA chief

Merve Erdil – ISTANBUL
Volkswagen crisis promises change in car technology: IEA chief

AA Photo

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) new chief has said the scandal that hit German car manufacturer Volkswagen could lead to a change in car technology across the globe. 

IAE Chief Fatih Birol said the Volkswagen scandal would have three significant results on cars, with the first being that changes to car technology would gather pace as research on alternatives to car engines would develop.

“[Secondly], diesel cars will undergo serious tests without taking manufacturers’ statements into consideration. Thirdly, an uncertainty will show up about the future of cars with diesel engines,” said Birol. 

Volkswagen has admitted that up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with a so-called defeat device, which detects when the car is undergoing testing and switches the engine to a low-emissions mode. It then switches off this mode when the car is on the road, thus spewing out far higher emissions than permitted.

Birol said that the U.N. Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Paris in early December, will be a key element in determining the future technological developments in the devices used for the car - either fuels or electricity. 

If a signal about the importance of climate change comes out of the U.N. Climate Change Conference for investors in the car industry, this would lead to the improvement of technologies that release less or even no emissions. 

Citing examples of alternative car technologies that would most probably develop as a result of the emissions crisis, Birol referred to the electric car, the car using bio fuels, and the car using hybrids.