Diesel Cars

VW may extend diesel-scrapping incentives to all of Germany

Some incentives are currently limited to Germany's most polluted cities.

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In October, Volkswagen announced a scheme where drivers of older, dirty diesels could receive incentives for trading up to newer, cleaner VW vehicles, but some of the incentives were limited in scope. That may soon change, though.

Volkswagen is considering expanding certain diesel trade-in incentives to the entirety of Germany, Reuters reports, citing confirmation from a spokesperson. It was first reported by Germany's Bild newspaper. A board committee is currently investigating this idea and should have a decision in place as early as next week.

Here's how the system currently exists. Owners across Germany can receive an environment incentive of between 1,500 and 8,000 euros (about $1,700 and $9,200), depending on vehicle size, for trading in their Euro 1- to Euro 4-spec diesels. Germans across the country would get the full incentive only if they purchased a new VW diesel, but citizens in the 14 most heavily polluted German cities can get the incentive no matter what powertrain they choose.

There's also a partial incentive if a diesel owner buys a lightly used car instead of a new one, but that incentive is not limited to any specific location, nor are there constraints on powertrain choices. An additional exchange premium boosts the trade-in value of a Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel, as well, but this one is also limited to those in the 14 sootiest cities.

Volkswagen instituted this scheme in part to help stave off the idea of diesel bans, which many polluted cities have floated in an effort to retain control of air quality. By moving to newer diesels outfitted with the latest software and hardware emissions controls, VW hopes it can continue selling diesels, which are still popular in Europe, as it slowly moves toward electrification.