Mercedes-Benz owners can apply for a 3,000 euro (RM14,054) subsidy towards the upgrading of exhaust particulate filters in older diesel models as part of the automaker’s efforts towards getting around inner-city bans, Reuters reports.
Daimler launched a website earlier this week to process applications for said financial support while German transport authority KBA works to gain approval for an aftermarket upgrade kit for exhaust systems on older Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the report said.
The first retrofit package is for the Stuttgart-based automaker’s Euro 5-compliant engines, including those which power the popular E 220 and E 250 models produced by Dr Pley SCR Technology, a family business based in Bavaria, Reuters notes. The third-party hardware retrofit package will cost approximately 3,000 euros to install, or similar to the amount of the aforementioned subsidy.
This has been offered to customers in regions within Germany which potentially face driving bans, the report added. Automakers had initially provided software updates to affected vehicles and stopped short of offering hardware retrofits, instead lobbying for customers to buy new models with cleaner engines, the report said.
German cities started banning heavily polluting diesel vehicles due to fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions, with automakers made to upgrade their models’ exhaust treatment systems as a result. These diesel bans are unnecessary, Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess had previously said, adding that he is more concerned with CO2 and climate change rather than the air quality issue “which we can handle.”
Germany has been among the more recent of its European neighbours to clamp down of diesel-powered vehicles. Before it, cities such as Paris, Madrid and Mexico City put forth plans to ban diesels by 2025, with Norway setting the clock on both petrols and diesels along the same timeline. On a wider national level, France and Britain have aimed to ban both petrols and diesels by 2040.