While here in North America enthusiasts have been clamouring to get more diesels for decades, in Europe, where the good diesels live, it’s starting to look more and more like the future of the oil-burner is getting bleak. Meeting ever-tighter emissions requirements is getting both more difficult and more expensive.
According to a report from Reuters, sources at Renault claim that the French automaker has been taking a close look at the cost of conforming to the new standards. As a result of the increased expenditure, the company is expecting that many of its diesel engines will disappear by 2020. The reassessment was delivered during a meeting earlier this summer and is a direct result of the repercussions of VW’s diesel emissions scandal.
Renault is now predicting that diesels will be priced out of their B-segment (Honda Fit- or Ford Fiesta-size) cars and even some trims of their C-segment (Honda Civic- or Toyota Corolla-size) offerings by the end of the decade. That group represents nearly half of Renault’s sales in Europe last year.
Renault isn’t the only company expressing this concern. VW chief executive Matthias Mueller said that VW was wondering “whether it still makes sense to invest a lot of money in further developing diesel” this past June. Audi technical development chief Stefan Knirsch has also hinted that the brand’s four-cylinder diesels in the lower end of the market are under threat.
VW is the only automaker who has admitted using emissions testing defeat software, but suspicion and accusations have been levelled at other makers as well.
If this trend continues – and it’s likely that it will – diesel engines could soon be limited to higher-end models, and become the premium engine to have. Fully electric and hybrid models would then hopefully be there to fill in the economy market.
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