Diesel cars are finished says European Union
Consumers may do as much as regulators to propel the car sector into the electricity-powered age foreseen by Tesla Inc., according to the European Union’s industrial-policy chief.
European Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said the EU has had a “breakthrough moment” since Germany-based Volkswagen AG admitted in 2015 that it fitted diesel engines with software to cheat U.S. checks on smog-causing discharges of nitrogen oxides. This deeply affected “the emotions in society toward emissions and cleaner cars,” she said.
“Diesel cars are finished,” Bienkowska said in a May 24 interview in her ninth floor Brussels office. “I think in several years they will completely disappear. This is the technology of the past.”
The auto-emissions scandal may help the EU gear up for a technological revolution in road transport. Europe is seeking to retain leadership in the worldwide market for passenger cars in the face of competition from the U.S., where Tesla is based, and China, which accounts for about half of electric-vehicle sales.
The issue has been politically thorny in Europe because around half the cars in the region are powered by diesel — which causes more urban pollution than gasoline while having less global-warming impact — and because many member states have struggled to meet clean-air goals meant to reduce human sicknesses and premature deaths.
“People have realized that we will never have completely clean — without NOx — diesel cars,” said Bienkowska, who comes from Poland.
|Diesel cars are finished – EU
Consumers may do as much as regulators to propel the car sector into the electricity-powered age.