France: War On Diesels Steps Up, Carmakers Not Happy Photo:
Trevor Collett | Jun, 26 2015 | 5 Comments

It appears France is quickly falling out of love with diesel passenger cars; the country is now about to shun even the cleanest models from its latest 'green cars' list.

A new colour-coding system is set to guide buyers toward the cleanest and greenest new cars, and industry paper Automotive News Europe reports not one diesel will make the cut for a Category One rating.

Drivers in France have lived through decades of legislation supporting small diesel passenger cars, but the country’s recent about-face on ‘oil-burners’ may lead to partial bans in city areas as the decade comes to a close.

It is the fine particulates emissions from diesel cars that is the issue; the French government now wants to encourage 'more environmentally friendly' vehicle use.

But some carmakers, Peugeot and Renault among them, are unhappy and speaking out against the buyer’s guide, saying their diesel models meet or exceed Euro 6 emissions standards and should not be excluded based solely on fuel type.

Carmakers fear that some French authorities may use the Category One list as a springboard to introduce tough new guidelines ahead of those proposed in 2020, effectively banning some diesels from urban areas.

Industry group ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers Association) reportedly said it saw no reason why diesels should be excluded from the Category One system, particularly if they meet Euro 6 standards.

“Policy should be technology-neutral to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles,” ACEA general secretary Erik Jonnaert said in a statement.

France’s big three - PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault - reportedly believe their government’s new policy on diesels will see them at a disadvantage compared with German rivals.

The European nation has also recently introduced a €10,000 incentive for buyers looking to purchase an electric vehicle which specifically targets diesel owners.

MORE: EU Proposes On-Road Testing For ‘Dirty’ Diesels From 2017
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