France Wants to Discourage Ownership of Diesel Cars, Automakers Protest

The French government has announced plans to gradually phase out the use of diesel fuel for passenger vehicles and will establish a system to identify the most polluting vehicles.

The plans were announced by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, much to the displeasure of French automakers Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroën. The official said the government will launch a car identification system next year that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit. Based on this system, local authorities will be able to limit city access for the dirtiest cars.

“In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically,” Valls was quoted as saying by Reuters. The plans are daring from a political point of view, considering that about 80 percent of French motorists drive diesel-powered cars.

Valls said taxation should be changed so that citizens would orient towards more ecological choices. A first step is the 2015 state budget which includes measures to reduce the tax advantage of diesel fuel versus gas.

The government said it will raise the excise tax (TICPE) on diesel by 2 euro cents per liter, resulting in an additional €807 million in budget revenues in 2015. Other measures include a bonus of up to €10,000 for drivers scraping diesel-powered cars for EVs.

Obviously, French automakers are against the plans. PSA and Renault both said the tax increase on diesel fuel will not improve air quality, arguing that the tax does not differentiate between modern and older diesel engines. PSA also said the tax will hurt its competitiveness.

“Diesel is a key technology to reduce greenhouse gas and to fight against climate change. This tax measure will place France at a disadvantage compared with Germany,” a PSA spokeswoman told AutoNews Europe.

PHOTOS

Apple Secures Patent That Uses Facial Recognition To Unlock Vehicles

First implemented on the iPhone X, the facial recognition unlocking tech could eventually make it into cars.

2020 Ford Explorer Prices Bumped From $400 To $5,365, ST $8,115 More Than Old Sport

The Blue Oval has considerably updated the Explorer, but it does charge a premium for it.

Kia Niro EV Vs. Rivals: See How Entry-Level Battery Electrics Stack Up

The entry-level electric vehicle segment is booming, so we compare five new and upcoming models.

2019 Mazda6 Is A Quality Saloon That Will Make You Feel Special

Stylish, comfortable and with good handling, the Mazda6 can give premium models a good scare.

Somehow, The Driver Of This Cruze Made It Out With Minor Injuries!

It may be hard to believe, yet whoever was driving the Cruze thankfully escaped almost unharmed .

Chevy Dealers Snap Up All 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bisons – And They’re Flying Off Lots

Despite a nearly $50k price tag, this year’s production of the Colorado ZR2 Bison is already allocated to dealers.

Car Monitoring Tech Learns Your Passengers’ Age, Gender And A Whole Lot More

“My car is my castle” could soon become “My car is a 24-hour Big Brother AI”.

Buick Cascada Getting Axed, Will Be Missed By No One

GM finally admitted that Buick’s first convertible in 25 years won’t be sold beyond 2019.

Should You Spend £43,000 On Skoda’s 237 HP Kodiaq RS?

The Kodiaq RS is pretty good, but is it nearly $50k good? Watch this review to find out.

Land Rover Kills Plans For Discovery SVX Hardcore Off-Roader

JLR has already announced that it would reduce its model count, and the Disco SVX project was axed.