Outspoken EU commissioner Elzbieta Biekowska describes diesel cars as 'the technology of the past'

European commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska has branded diesel cars “the technology of the past”, and has predicted that they will "completely disappear" in the near future.

Bienkowska said that the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal has caused public sentiment to shift towards cleaner cars and a greater awareness of emissions.

“People have realised that we will never have completely clean, without NOx, diesel cars,” Bienkowska told Bloomberg.

In recent months, manufacturers such as Volvo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have laid out plans to abandon diesel power. FCA has pledged to stop selling diesels by 2022, while Volvo launched its final diesel-optioned car, the V60, in recent months.

Other manufacturers, such as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover, have come to diesel's defence, citing that diesel is vital to combating global warming due to its lower CO2 output. JLR boss Ralf Speth said recently: “The latest diesel technology is really such a step in emissions, performance, particulates; it’s better for the environment when compared to [an equivalent] petrol. Diesel has — needs — to have a future.”

With ever-tightening EU legislation on car emissions prompting protest from car manufacturers, diesel still represents a valuable lifeline to those that are less advanced in their progress towards the EU’s 66g/km CO2 targets than others. The EU's 2030 CO2 targets are pushing manufacutrers towards plug-in hybrid and electric cars. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association described the target as "aggressive when we consider the low and fragmented market penetration of alternatively powered vehicles across Europe to date”.

VW aims to have half of its range electrified by 2025, with 80 electrified cars planned in this timeframe, and sell one million EVs worldwide annually by that year. Volvo plans to sell hybrids to 50% of its customers by 2025, too, with every car released being offered with a hybrid option from the imminent S60 onwards.

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There is increasing national and local legislation against diesel; the UK Government plans to ban non-hybrid internal combustion-engined cars by 2040, while some others plan bans before this date. German cities were recently awarded the right to ban older diesels from city centres, with Hamburg being the first to implement a ban on Euro 5 and older diesels in certain areas starting from 31 May. Several cities in the UK and abroad have announced similar strategies. 

Read more

VW Group boss: diesel is not dead

European Commission to relax rules on tougher emissions regulations

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JLR boss launches staunch defence of diesel

CO2 reduction targets 'overly aggressive', says European car industry

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Comments
47

29 May 2018
Car makers will fight any move against the diesel fuel not because it is good for the environment but because it is good for their profits. For decades they have poured money into the diesel technology. Damn the planet they do not want to abandon their hefty investments.

2 June 2018

It is not the fault of the Car Companies per se.  Governments promoted diesel as a low CO2 tool when CO2 emmissions where seen as the cause of Global Warning, the stampede to diesel (a by-product of Petroleum production yet more expensive at the pump??) was instigated by the authorities.

The "cheats" employed by the automotive sector where in place to achieve targets by any means possible, a practise used by accountants and lawyers for years!

IIRC some high performance makers employed an exhaust valve to achieve drive-by noise regulations which could be switched off for production models. I sympathise, to some extent, with manufacturers being creative with regulations F1 has been the epitomy of this for a long time.

All fuel types involve pollution at some stage, electric motivation pushes the emmissions back to the power station, the technology includes rare-earth elements and dirty mining processes employing poor labour conditions. 

Hydrogen always appealed to me as a solution owing to its only product being H2O until some wise sage (possibly on Autocar) that all that steam would produce some seriously icy roads in northen latitudes such as ours!

Finally, an interesting aside on Radio 4 the other day.  A nature correspondent was bemoaning the growth of brambles, nettles & such like on roadside verges, apparently all the NOx output from diesel exhausts is encouraging plant growth, unfortunately these plants are unacceptable to ugenically minded botanists who consider these CO2 breathing and Oxygen exhaling organisms to be "thugs" who murder bluebells and their equally fragile, pretty kith and kin. As Littlejohn doth quote "You couldn't make it up"

29 May 2018

The woman, who openly describes herself as a "technocrat" and hated in her home country of Poland, has told the people of Europe that diesel is dead. How sweet. 

The way things are going in Europe these days, I'm sure diesel will outlive the EU.

29 May 2018

...however the local councils are still trying to milk petrol cars owners with taxation that does not make any sense and is not scientifically based but they won't change that until the local council can find a suitable scapegoat that doesn't involve diesel ICE because they already own them. This emissions debacle has been a fascinating insight into technical ignorance, wanton greed and international protectionism and it stinks to high heaven. 

29 May 2018

European manufacturers should have taken a leaf out of Toyota's book and invested in passive hybrids. CO2 and particulates better than diesel, with a slightly higher weight and cost penalty which could easily have been entirely negated if the whole industry had been working on it for as long as Toyota has.

Diesel has just been an increasingly deep hole to pore money into, as regulations against NOx and particulates have tightened up every few years, yet real-world tests have found that most cars don't comply (90% of Euro 6 cars in last year's ICCT study). They should have known it would be a dead end in the medium term.

29 May 2018

Is the EU dictator an expert on diesel engine design?

" “People have realised that we will never have completely clean, without NOx, diesel cars,” Bienkowska told Bloomberg."

The truth is that this EU criminal doesn't know what she is talking about.

The sooner the UK leaves the EU the better.

29 May 2018

...slightly higher weight and cost penalty which could easily have been entirely negated if the whole industry had been working on it for as long as Toyota has....

So engine + hybrid gear + batteries weighs the same as engine?  Magic - I suppose it would have had negative CO2 as well?

Keep dreaming - the EU and the countries stuck in it are finished. They've legislated GDPR to finish off what's left of the previously leading EU technology industry, they're going fot the German and French car makers next.

30 May 2018
gagaga wrote:

...slightly higher weight and cost penalty which could easily have been entirely negated if the whole industry had been working on it for as long as Toyota has....

So engine + hybrid gear + batteries weighs the same as engine?  Magic - I suppose it would have had negative CO2 as well?

Engine + particulate filter + exhaust gas recirculation, plus AdBlu if the car has it. Diesel systems are heavy.

TS7

29 May 2018

... I hate diseasel and the eu.

29 May 2018

Bet I hate the EU more than you do.

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