Renault admits diesel engines will slowly disappear
Car giant Renault has admitted that diesel engines are to disappear from most of its European models blaming tighter emissions standards following the Volkswagen scandal.
French firm Renault and its domestic rival Peugeot both heavily invested in diesel technology and more than 60 per cent of the 1.6 million cars Renault sold in Europe last had diesel engines.
However, by 2020 more stringent EU emissions standards come into force following a scandal that saw Volkswagen admit engineering software to cheat emissions tests.
And now two sources who were at an internal meeting at Renault during the summer, told Reuters that Chief Competitiveness Officer Thierry Bollore explained that the diesel investment outlook had dimmed significantly
One of them said: 'He said we were now wondering whether diesel would survive, and that he wouldn't have voiced such doubts even at the start of this year.
'Tougher standards and testing methods will increase technology costs to the point where diesel is forced out of the market.'
Going electric instead
Renault, like most of its contemporaries, will now put more time, effort and resources into developing electrified cars.
However, a Renault spokesman declined to comment.
Diesel engines, pricier but more efficient than gasoline, had already vanished from the smallest 'A'-segment vehicles like Renault's Twingo well before VW's so-called 'dieselgate', as their extra expense outstripped savings on fuel.
By 2020, Renault now predicts that the toughening of Euro 6 emissions rules will push diesel out of cars in the next 'B'-segment size category, including its Clio subcompact, as well as some 'C' models such as the Megane hatchback, the sources said.
Models in those first three size categories accounted for most of the group's 1.6 million European deliveries last year, and more than 60 per cent were diesels.
However, Renault is not alone in predicting a bleak future for diesel, though its projections go further than the doubts expressed by other carmakers about the technology.
VW now wonders "whether it still makes sense to invest a lot of money in further developing diesel", Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said in June.