Two major European markets, France and the United Kingdom, could turn away from supporting diesel technology in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions tests cheating scandal.
France, which needs to be said it was already mulling the idea of cutting reliance on the diesel technology – long favored in the country – is now ready to increase taxes on the technology during the next half decade to limit its advantage over gasoline and help drivers opt for a cleaner choice, said environment Minister Segolene Royal. The technology’s image as a clean alternative has been killed off by numerous health warnings and the admission of Volkswagen that it has cheated in the US on diesel emissions tests. Countries such as France have been pushing ahead the diesel technology in the past but are now rethinking their stance as the German automaker acknowledged it had installed the so-called “defeat” device in up to 11 million autos worldwide and German officials claim the company also duped EU regulators.
“We need to start preparing our move out of diesel right now,” commented Royal for France 5 television. “We should phase out diesel’s (tax) advantage over five years.” The official said that in France the diesel fuel had an advantage of 0.15 euros per liter over gasoline. Raising the diesel tax should come up during the debate on the 2016 budget bill, mitigated by incentives to purchase cleaner-fuel models. In related news, British prime minister David Cameron was quoted by the Sunday Telegraph newspaper as saying that Volkswagen “was wrong to break the rules” over emissions. He added he was not ruling out the idea of modifying the subsidies delivered to diesel models.