BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk said revelations that Volkswagen AG cheated on diesel emission tests is “obviously bad,” but that the issue the world should really be concerned about is carbon dioxide emissions.
“It’s very important that we take action today to recognize that we are making a very significant change to the chemical constituency of the atmosphere and the oceans,” Musk said Thursday in Berlin at a seminar organized by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. “It’s very important that we do something.”
The scandal at VW is putting diesel emissions across the industry under scrutiny. The company has set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in an initial tally of the potential cost of its deception of regulators and customers about emissions of diesel engines installed in 11 million cars worldwide -- more vehicles than it sells in a year.
Musk said that whereas Germany is “really great” on sustainable power generation, the country isn’t much so on sustainable power consumption.
“Transport is still very much petrol and diesel,” Musk said. “So hopefully that’s something that will change.”
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned within a week of the revelations and other executives may also lose their jobs. VW’s supervisory board will discuss the CEO’s replacement at its meeting on Friday.
VW’s admission that millions of its “clean diesel” cars have software intended to defeat emissions tests wiped nearly 20 billion euros off its market capitalization earlier this week. The shares gained on Thursday.