Unlike in the US, for a long time, diesel engines have been quite widely used across Europe. However, as pollution limits are getting stronger and advanced anti-pollution technology is getting more expensive, the projection is that diesel automobiles will see a downward trend.
Autocar reports: “Joe Bakaj, head of product development for Ford of Europe, said the costs of meeting the Euro 6 and expected Euro 7 pollution regulations would be a major problem, as would the possibility of reduced petrol refining capacity in Europe. This would force up the price of diesel, a by-product of the process. He also questioned the longevity of the tax advantages of buying diesel in some EU countries.”
At the moment, the EU average for diesel’s percentage of automobile sales is 55%. In the UK it is down to 50%, while it is about 70% in Spain and France. But the trend should see diesel sales dropping in all of these countries over time.
“Europe exports a lot of petrol to the US, but if the demand falls, a lot of refining capacity could be taken out of the system, driving up diesel prices,” said Bakaj. “There’s also the cost of exhaust after-treatment systems for the upcoming EU6.1 and EU6.2. The latter has more onerous limits on emissions of NOx and particulates.
“It is much cheaper to get petrol engines through EU6.2; with diesel engines we need technology such as selective catalyst reduction systems, and costs increase again with heavier vehicles.”
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