Audi: US “Government Has Unfairly Placed Bets on Electrics Over Clean Diesel Vehicles”


That's the Headline of Audi's Tesla Bashing Press Release Put Out in May of This Year

That’s the Headline of Audi’s Tesla Bashing Press Release Put Out in May of This Year

German automaker Audi has never been too keen for plug-in vehicles.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron - While Audi Continues to Complain...It Will Release This Plug-In

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron – While Audi Will No Doubt Continue to Complain Over Plug-In Vehicle Incentives…It Will Ironically Release This Plug-In, Which Of Course Will Benefit From the Incentives

The last Audi made a fuss over electrics was when it attacked Tesla Motors for no reason.

Now, Audi is back at it again.

However, this time around Audi isn’t taking aim at a single automaker.

Audi is instead sounding off against the US Government and it’s using an unusual method to do so.

Audi is turning to the results of a Harris Interactive survey to say that “half of American drivers think government has unfairly placed bets on electrics over clean diesel vehicles.”

Wonder who makes these so-called “clean diesel vehicles” Harris is including in its survey.  Bet Audi does.

Audi Clean Diesels Storm the Capitol

Audi Clean Diesels Storm the Capitol

Ready to try to stomach what Audi says in its latest press release?  Here goes:

Over half of American drivers think government has unfairly placed bets on electrics over clean diesel vehicles, new Audi survey shows

• Survey conducted by Harris Interactive among over 1,600 American drivers to gain insight into clean diesel perception and adoption
• 66% of drivers think the government should offer a tax incentive on clean diesel vehicles
• 59% of 18-34 year old drivers said that if the cost of diesel fuel was on par with gasoline, they would purchase a diesel-powered vehicle

Audi Loves Its "Clean" Diesel technology

Audi Loves Its “Clean” Diesel technology

A new poll conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Audi of America reveals that a majority of American drivers would support government initiatives aimed at spurring clean diesel vehicle sales in the U.S. The study was conducted in September, 2013 among 2,041 U.S. adults, among whom 1,629 identified themselves as regular drivers, driving their own personal vehicle at least once a once week or more often.

Long viewed as “the other” fuel, clean diesel in the U.S. is quickly becoming a viable everyday fuel choice for drivers seeking increased efficiency and performance.

Audi continues to be at the forefront of clean diesel with a dramatic expansion of new TDI® clean diesel offerings: the 2014 A8L, A7, A6, Q7 and Q5 models. Clean diesel delivers up to 30% better fuel economy and 12% to 30% lower carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline engines.

However, obstacles to mass adoption still exist. In fact, survey results show that 65% of American drivers would be in support of lawmakers’ efforts to make diesel more accessible to the American public; and 66% of drivers think the government should offer a tax incentive on clean diesel vehicles.

“Government has set very rigorous standards for future fuel economy, and we believe that clean diesel is perfectly positioned to help us achieve those goals. But, we argue that diesel needs an even playing field set by state and federal governments,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “Audi believes there are a variety of viable alternative fuel solutions, including electric, but diesel is readily available today. If you take away the disincentives that state and federal taxation policy create, we potentially could see a big uptick in clean diesel vehicles sales.”

Government’s bet on electric vehicles viewed as unfair by American drivers
A majority (57%) of American drivers feel the government has unfairly placed its bets in favor of hybrids and electrics over clean diesel vehicles, the survey also showed.

Unlike electric vehicles, with clean diesel there is no need for driver behavior change, except to move from one pump to the other, and no need for big infrastructure changes.

“I do believe that diesel owners should be included in alternative energy tax incentives. Most diesel owners buy the car for the increased gas mileage, and we deserve to be rewarded for our change in behavior in using an alternate fuel just as hybrid drivers are,” said Stephanie Lewis, Audi TDI clean diesel owner since 2010.

Certain states provide HOV access to hybrid vehicles, while no states provide HOV access to clean diesel vehicles. HOV lanes are made for long-distance driving, better suited to clean diesel vehicles.

Clean diesel viewed as an innovative technology for younger American drivers
Survey results also showed that 59% of 18-34 year old drivers said that if the cost of diesel fuel was on par with gasoline, they would purchase a diesel-powered vehicle. Conversely, only 39% of those 45+ said they would purchase a diesel car over a gas car if there was fuel price parity.

“One of the reasons we are seeing this disparity between age groups may be because younger generations don’t have the same misconceptions about diesel as older generations,” added Keogh. “The objective is to reward efficiency, and diesel is an efficient alternative available today. We need to level the playing field.”

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Audi of America from September 24-26, 2013 among 2,041 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,626 drive regularly. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

To which we say…stop whining Audi.  It’s time to move forward.

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39 Comments on "Audi: US “Government Has Unfairly Placed Bets on Electrics Over Clean Diesel Vehicles”"

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Bwaaaah cry me a river Audi… (btw, it’s the same as VW nowadays)

A new word pair: “clean diesel”. Is that the same as “clean coal?”

Sorry Audi, you’re late to the party: just last year the WHO declared Diesel exhaust to be a carcinogen. They made no exception for “clean diesel”.

Try and “clean weasel” your way out of that one. Or is the WHO the next target on your whiny attack list?

It is now spelled Awwwwdi :’-(

Carbon Dioxide

‘Nuf said.

EVs don’t have a carbon footprint?

If having a net zero carbon footprint is your measure, than the average person driving an EV would not meet your criteria and therefore should not receive government subsidies, following your logic that is. ‘Nuf said

He just said “carbon dioxide”, not net zero as you state. Diesel just means dividing the ~20+ pounds of CO2 per gallon by a slightly higher number of miles.

Gas cars have crept up on diesel, with direct ignition (diesels always had), and other efficiencies which, actually, C&D has pointed out. Add that diesel cost a lot more, not less like it used to, and Audi (excuse me, VW Group’s) mistakes aren’t explained by a few plug-ins.

Audi, you’re being counter-productive. Give up, smile, and realize HOV lanes aren’t for long-distance. They’re a little better than the congested neighboring highway, which makes them perfect for…….EV’s

Honestly, the CO2 effects are peanuts compared to regular old air pollution, especially diesel.

The air pollution from a car will prematurely end many more lives than the warming from 50-100 tonnes of CO2 emitted from a car over its life (less than 1/10,000,000,000th of a degree warming).

Oops, another Audi electric vehicle cancelled.

Truthfully, aren’t electrical problems the bane of most Audi owners?

Clean Diesel, more like Pollutant Diesel

Audi so mad they cant build a proper EV

i’ll still take an A7 tho

Diesels stink. Everybody just loves driving behind a diesel, right?

Never heard that complaint about any electrics.

Even 20 years from now, EVs will not stink, especially as the grid gets cleaner.

It’s a European thing. For some reason they love diesel over there, esp. Germany.

They only love diesel there because diesel isn’t taxed as heavily as gasoline…

You’re probably right…

Isn’t that an example of government placing bets on one technology over another?

The difference in efficiency between a TDI diesel and a EV is surprisingly close.

I have a 2.0 TDI and a Volt, and no idea where you are coming from.

Well …May be germans earn enough money to by clean diesel, because on 10th year this engine is wreck.

Diesels stink? I guess you haven’t kept up with technology over the last decade.

Do coal powered electrical plants stink? I wonder how neighbors of nuclear plants feel about the whole issue.

Which is worse, a vehicle powered by clean diesel or a vehicle powered by coal or nuclear?

How about the number of EV owners who have solar arrays {and likely a few wind turbines in the mix too} that cover all of their power needs. They feed the grid during the day and then use the excess capacity that would be wasted at night to charge their EVs.

Seems like a win-win to me. I’ve nothing against diesel engines. But if we’re to tackle this Global Warming problem, incremental gains are not likely to be enough. Not unless the Enterprise can come and reseed our atmosphere like they did in the old Star Trek TV series. I’m not holding my breath for that.

Actually Cheryl, yes, I have kept up with the technology. In fact, my brother drives a brand new VW Jetta TDI diesel (win some, lose some). It stinks. If you walked by with your eyes closed, you would definitely know you are walking by a diesel vehicle. And 20 years from now it will be much worse.

I love it when electric detractors bring up the coal and nuclear issue. Coal is on the way out. Fast. And any electric owner can choose either to build their own local solar generating capacity, or choose a utility that generates or buys clean energy.

My brother will never be able to do that to create fuel for his car. And he still pays between $4 and $5 per gallon.

Cheryl, Diesel is cleaner on mercury, than coal. It may be cleaner on sulfur, too, if we’re talking about the old coal that is still operating in the US, vs. newer lower-sulfur diesel. Since most of us don’t have solar/wind, it comes down to where we are, and what our utility uses. The US is back up to 39% coal, from 37% in 2012, Ngas is about 30%, now, nukes 20% and then your renewables for the rest (still, mostly hydro). Carbon dioxide, for coal, at 1,800lbs per mwh translates into 1.8lb per kwh. At 39%, the 1.8lb drops again, to about .7lb per kwh. Add natural gas, at 900lbs/mwh, or .9/kwh, and weight it by US utilization of 30% and you get .3lb per kwh. The coal and natural gas carbon dioxide sum to 1.0lb per kwh, at the mix I just presented. Since most EV’s get at least 3 miles per kwh, CO2 per mile in this case ends up being .33lb. We’ll say the 2.0 clean diesel gets 40mpg. At the very common “20 lbs of CO2 per gallon of fuel”, 20/40 is .50lb of CO2 per mile. So, not quite as good as the average American… Read more »

Well, why don’t Audi go ahead and make a clean diesel electric plugin SUV like Volvo does? Wasn’t that one sold out consistently? If Audi does, then there will be incentives for that kind of car….

I might be even interested in buying one.

Stop whining Audi, do something about it with a real product…

Diesels are great on the hwy, but sucks in the city. So, making it a plugin as in EREV configuration or BEVx is the way to go…

Diesel still does nothing about our dependance on oil, foreign or otherwise. It also does little to curb pollution compared to gasoline.

I wouldn’t mind giving CNG vehicles some more government backing. I’d like to see a 3-way competition going between CNG, Gasoline, and Electric. That would give us a competitive market with some balance.

The main thing I don’t like with Diesel fuel is that it’s anywhere from a $1.00 to a $1.50 more a gallon then regular gas in a lot of areas. While electric cars the fuel is far cheaper then gas itself or ethanol. As for them complaining about diesel not being available and them wanting the federal government to step in to build more diesel felling stations that is wrong in that in my area almost all the local gas stations offer diesel for people to fill up their diesel trucks.

Well, not every station has diesel around here but more diesel pumps have been added.

If VW was the same company it was 50 years ago, then maybe they’d have a point. But as time goes on the VW family has become much more gimmicky and very unreliable. Reliability, simplicity, and standardization (not changing things too fast) made the beetle the most popular car model in the world. Worrying about high CO2 emissions doesn’t cut it with me, seeing as there is plenty of ice in the arctic (929,000 square miles growth this year alone, and sorry to say, no Northwest Passage this year as the was for Amundsen 110 years ago. So what if driving my 2 ev’s makes more CO2? Historically, we’re at a lull anyway. I’m more worried that the Pacific Ocean has almost died (No Sardine catch in the pacific northwest this year, ZERO. Herring that have bloodshot eyes and gills (which is food for other marine animals). Sea Lions with “Chernobyl Heart” due to the March 11, 2011 Worst Industrial Accident of all time at Fukushima Daichi. I would hope concern for the polar bears would also include their fur falling off in splotches due to radiation poisoining.. Of course, it may become a bit more well known to Californians,… Read more »

Totally agree with you Bill about VW’s unreliability on the increase,
Scan the forums – talk to owners and then you find there are plenty of other makes have long beaten them and yet it has this “image” of past quality.

Public are so gullible when it comes to VW groups marketing.
The completion may not be as stylish – but it sure is more reliable and costs less long term….

Square miles aren’t cubic miles.

Good thing. 929,000 cubic miles would be a rather stout Ice Cube.

hmmm…929,000 cubic miles would be an ice cube 97.5 x 97.5 x 97.5 miles. Big ice cube 😀

I don’t think there was that much ice ( playing along with pj’s cubic miles ) during the last ICE AGE.

All these environmental groups are all concerned about the fairy tale of “Global Warming” (its a hard sell around where I live since its so damn cold all the time) but…

When there is a Real Environmental Emergency ongoing before everyone’s eyes, no one says, boo!, or they say its a natural occurances, like 28% dead Polar Bears with splotches of fur falling off, Sea Lions, Seals, Musk Ox’s, No Sardines. Any news reports talk about “Environmental Contaminents”, or “Compounds”
but they don’t mention the dreaded “R” word. (radiation).

Be interesting what Pacific Ocean coast dwellers will say when the big radioactive waste plume from Fukushima arives in 2014. And then the contamination will continue at a continuous high level for at least the next 50 years. Will the news reports report on “Compounds”?

I like the lawyers for Alaskan air lines who are sueing them for their Flight Attendents’ hair falling out blaming the air line for giving them “Defective Uniforms”.

HAHA! Since the EPA would naturally say flying is safe and the lawyers would be trying to fight them, the only thing left is their UNIFORMS are causing their hair to fall out, HAHAHA! The Scientific Method at work. (Can’t be anything in the Jet Stream since the EPA says all is well!!)

100% of all Americans think there should be a tax break on ALL cars. Got ya beat, Audi.

Awwdi = Over priced POS VW with a better customer warranty in Australia.
Hear the pain.

EV’s will rule, clean diesel oh yeah … NOT.

Cry babies and their the ones with DGS and their German electronics made with all the dry joints. Give me a break, guess they must be really behind on the EV field.
*Guess with all the unreliable power train computers from VW group in ICE cars, Audi doesn’t have the guts to build an EV no doubt.

* Based on visiting local ECU specialists – always plenty of German cars in their getting their electric brains mended…. LOL!

Well, just another manufacture to shun their EV attempts aside. What they’re doing here would certainly repulse most of us from buying, leasing or recommending an e-tron. That’s self inflicting for them, just like with VW, Fiat, Honda, Kia and so on. No reason to support a company buy buying their product you may like that they don’t like.

Audi designed their cars in order to express their emotions lol

I guess Audi forgot that diesels got tax breaks from 2005 to 2011. Even with tax breaks, they didn’t sell enough to get the break phased out like hybrids did.

This was the news Audi wanted to inject at the same time that the first BMW i3s are rolling out? Audi has been making some big gains against BMW these past several years, but it looks like the tide may be turning back the other way. They clearly got left flat-footed, and are now trying to PR their way out of underinvesting in BEVs.

Diesel isn’t a sustainable energy source. Clean or otherwise.

Clean and diesel is like nice and Jack the riper, it just don’t fit.
If it did, they would place the exhaust in front of the vehicle instead of in the back.