Europe: carmakers disappointed by French decision on clean diesels image

The French government has decided to retreat from long-time diesel friendly policies, with sales of models with the type of engine now threatened by the decision to exclude them from the country’s cleanest classification of vehicle pollution.

Officials in France announced that Euro 6 compliant diesel engines would not be introduced in the recently established Category 1 color coding scheme that offers a classification of vehicles dependant on the pollution tally. The new ranking system can be used by French cities to decide which types of vehicle classes might get banned from urban areas. The European automakers association, ACEA, meanwhile, retaliated saying the Euro 6-compliant diesels are the cleanest diesel engines manufactured to date and asked the French government not to discriminate the type of engine. “Policy should be technology-neutral to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles,” commented in a statement ACEA general secretary Erik Jonnaert. In the past the French government promoted intensely diesel powerplants – with around 80 percent of the cars in use have the engine type.

Now the government is rekindling its strategy on diesels after an outbreak of complaints that nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions produced by diesels are a rising threat in terms of health and also propel the outbreak of smog. So far, the government has increased the excise tax on diesel fuel and dropped the subsidies and incentives for diesel cars. Paris wants to force out of the capital by the end of the decade all diesel cars manufactured before 2011.

Via Automotive News Europe