Are we looking at the end of the dirty diesels?

Over in Europe, Diesel engines are quite popular. But, Euro 6 emissions standards are getting tougher and, starting in 2019, emissions performance tests for new cars will be based on real driving scenarios. This means that manufacturers ultimately have to spend more to treat emission systems. And, according to a report from Reuters, Renault is rethinking its investment in diesel altogether. In fact, Renault is expecting diesel engines to disappear from most of its European-market cars due to the ever increasing cost of emissions equipment.

Sources who attended a Renault meeting before the summer break have said that Thierry Bollore – Renault’s Chief Competitiveness Officer – has said the tougher standards and testing methods will ultimately increase technology costs so much that diesel will be forced out of the market. And, this all comes after Renault (along with Peugeot) went on a heavy defensive to boast the future viability of diesel engines.

Long story short, Renault is predicting that by 2020, emissions standards will push diesel out of the B-segment vehicles like the Renault Clio and even some C-segment vehicles like the Megane hatchback. Renault has remained rather silent to the public on this matter, however, more than 60 percent of Renaults 1.6 million vehicle deliveries in the B- and C-segments were powered by diesel. Put simply; diesel engines are the clear winners as far as fuel economy goes in non-hybrid vehicles, but they are dirty – at least by the government’s standards.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

Why it Matters

Here’s the real problem. Governments and regulatory agencies are set on getting rid of fossil fuels altogether. The push for zero emissions is getting stronger by the year as are emission standards. I’ve been criticized for saying this in the past, but eventually fuel-powered vehicles are going to be banned, and there’s really nothing we can do about it unless we somehow come up with a way to burn diesel or gasoline without emitting any noxious gasses. I don’t see that happening. World governments are going to continue pushing emissions standards to the point that it is impossible to comply, forcing automakers to look at alternative methods of propulsion such as battery and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Maybe it really is better for our planet in the long run, but it’s something automakers like Renault are finally realizing they need to take seriously. It’s only a matter of time before diesel engines are a thing of the past and gasoline engines probably won’t be far behind. It’s a tough blow for automakers that are so heavily invested in diesel technology. But, that’s what happens. It’s no secret that diesel engines are dirty, and every automaker that is heavily invested in diesel should have seen this coming a long time ago.

Source: Reuters

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