FCA looks to phase out diesel cars by 2022

26 February 2018

26 February 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has become the latest manufacturer to suggest it will drop diesel engines from its line-up as the market continues to suffer.

Following the Dieselgate scandal instigated by Volkswagen (VW) in 2015, which has seen FCA face investigations in the US into emissions manipulation under testing, the global market for diesel-powered vehicles has suffered, with governments imposing higher taxes and consumer confidence waning as a result.

This means that manufacturers are having to look to the future of transportation much quicker than they possibly wanted to, with investment in electric vehicles (EVs) taking precedence in the research and development stakes. For some, it also means the end of diesel production, as lack of demand makes a financial investment in the technology redundant.

In a plan expected to be announced during June 2018, FCA is to highlight what the company will achieve over the next four years. According to people within the automaker, this will include a phasing out of diesel engines across the company’s brands, which include Jeep, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. The company itself has declined to comment.

Sales of diesel vehicles in Europe fell 8% last year, taking its market share to 43.8%, according to data from Jato Dynamics. For FCA, the decision to ditch the fuel comes amid rising costs of making the technology compliant with increasingly tight emissions rules.

However, while the company may look to pull diesel from its car ranges, it is expected that the company will keep the technology in commercial vehicles, which include the Ducato, a mainstay of the motorhome market. The Italian manufacturer was the only one in Europe to grow its diesel market share in 2017, mainly thanks to its exposure in Italy where the market is still strong.

The move would see FCA join Toyota and Porsche as companies looking to remove diesel technology from sale going forward. In January, the Japanese carmaker stopped selling diesel variants of its Yaris, Auris and RAV4 models in Italy, proclaiming itself ′diesel-free’ in the country, while it also plans to remove sales of the technology in France, as the European market adapts to consumer movement away from the fuel.

Meanwhile, in an official statement, Porsche said that the Macan S Diesel has been ′taken out of the production program’ as buyer demand moves towards petrol and hybrid versions. The brand also revealed that the diesel’s removal was also linked to a software update that has been subject to ongoing consultation with authorities. It is expected that other diesel variants will also drop off the German manufacturer’s lists.

FCA’s plans will come after new CO2 limits are introduced by the European Commission in 2021. These, in turn, will replace current targets, which manufacturers are struggling to meet following the collapse of the diesel market. It is therefore likely that the Italian firm will also announce more details about its EV strategy to ensure targets can be met.

Photograph courtesy of FCA