Volkswagen has made a massive push toward electric vehicles in the years following its diesel cheating scandal. But it isn’t giving up on the fuel just yet. In fact, diesels are making up an increasing portion of the vehicles that the VW brand sells in Germany.
The share of incoming orders for diesel vehicles increased from 39 percent in 2017 to 43 percent last year in VW’s home market, the automaker reported. Among private consumers, the jump was even bigger, rising from 15 percent to 27 percent over the same time. “In Germany, the diesel debate is emotionally charged—and frequently strays from the facts,” said VW brand board member for sales Jurgen Stackmann in a statement. “Given its high efficiency and its performance and in light of climate change, the diesel engine will remain an important technology for years to come, especially for those who travel long distances.”
Still, VW hasn’t completely recovered from the Dieselgate fiasco. As CNN points out, diesels made up about 49 percent of all Volkswagen car sales in Germany as recently as 2015. Early last year, then Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller predicted a diesel “renaissance” was on the way. “Diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future because people who drove diesels will realize that it was a very comfortable drive concept,” he said, reports Bloomberg. But diesel probably won’t be an important part of the VW lineup forever. Bloomberg recently reported that the Volkswagen Group will introduce a new generation of gas and diesel cars beginning in 2026, and after that, it will phase out internal-combustion engines altogether.