Renault Downshifts on Diesel Engines for European Market
Tighter pollution controls prompted by last year’s Volkswagen emissions scandal may prompt French automaker Renault to stop offering diesel engines in most of its European fleet.
Although the company has yet to make an official announcement, “senior Renault executive Thierry Bollore has said tougher emissions standards and testing methods would make diesel engines uneconomic to make,” BBC reports. The company had removed diesel from some of its smaller models before the VW scandal broke. And “by 2020, when more stringent EU emissions standards come into force, larger Renault cars such as the Clio and the Megane are unlikely to have diesel engine variants.”
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That’s a sharp downshift from 2015, when diesel powered 60% of the 1.6 million cars the company sold in Europe.
“From 2019, tougher European rules on diesel engines will involve measuring emissions in real-world driving conditions, making the new standards much harder to comply with,” BBC notes. “For its part, Renault is being investigated by the French authorities for publishing suspected fraudulent emissions figures,” and both Renault and Nissan exceeded nitrogen oxide limits more than eight-fold in initial road tests.