Europe: carmakers believe diesels are crucial for CO2 target completion image

The region’s car producers have started to lobby the European Union countries to corroborate and shed some clarity on long-term legislation prospects for diesel engine vehicles.

The pledges have started to arise after certain state governments have initiated laws that seek to encourage buyers to shed reliance on the fuel as air pollution concerns surrounding diesel vehicles continue to mount. “The European industry has invested massive amounts of money to make [cleaner] Euro 6 diesels a reality. Now we start hearing calls to reduce or phase out diesel. This is unrealistic. This industry needs a longer-term strategy, ” commented Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. The diesel equipped autos, which have snatched a little over 50 percent of all new vehicle sales in Europe in 2014, are usually popular as they have better mileage – around 15 to 20 percent – than similar gasoline counterparts. Also, some European countries have the fuel more accessible as there are fewer taxes on it. The latter is about to change, with France for example starting to gradually lift the duties on diesel to set them on par with gasoline. French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said the country is moving away from the fuel because it causes emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), in turn producing smog.

The auto producers on the other hand say they invested heavily to introduce Euro 6 diesel engines – with the new level of pollution taking effect for all new car sales this September. “The level of removal of pollutants in Euro 6 is phenomenal,” commented FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne on the sidelines of March’s Geneva auto show. The British Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders says the level of NOx produced by new diesel cars delivered in Europe has dropped by 84 percent to just 0.08 grams per kilometer since 2001.

Via Automotive News Europe