Peugeot says it will continue to build and sell diesel engines for as long as customers want them, despite plans to ban diesel-powered cars in Paris and London within four years.
Speaking at the Paris reveal of the new Peugeot 3008 SUV, Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato (pictured below) was dismissive of any potential legislation against diesel, instead asserting Peugeot’s commitment to the fuel because that is what its customers want.
“The driver is the final customer. Just in France, we are at 3049 [3008s] ordered – 80 percent of those cars are diesel.”
A ruthless anti-pollution drive from the mayor of Paris has called for diesel cars to be made illegal in the city by 2020. Reports from the UK suggest London could follow suit.
Peugeot’s expanded SUV line-up includes a diesel engine in every top-spec variant. No electrified hybrid drivetrains are offered in Australia, and only one – a diesel hybrid – is available in the manufacturer’s home market.
The French carmaker’s attitude contrasts with the electric vehicle onslaught seen at the Paris motor show, and a shifting public perception of diesel following the Dieselgate scandal still embroiling the Volkswagen Group.
At the same show, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz launched electric vehicle sub-brands aimed at making battery-powered motoring more accessible within the next few years.
“The energy mix will change, yes. But when? We must be ready with electric solutions, zero emission solution, but we will not set our customers aside,” said Imparato.
“We are ready to work with everybody in order to check the [diesel] cars, and to prepare for the future. We consider that we must work, as an OEM, on carbon footprint.”
Meanwhile state governments in Germany passed a resolution this week that would effectively ban new petrol and diesel vehicles on EU roads by 2030.
“If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030,” said Greens party member Oliver Krische to Spiegal Magazin in Germany.
The resolution suggests a review of current taxation practices, hinting at tax breaks for manufacturers, in order to stimulate emissions-free vehicle production. The resolution must be approved by the EU before it can be instituted.