Diesel Vehicles Face a Grim Future in Europe’s Cities

Over the next decade, 24 European cities with a total population of 62 million people will ban diesel vehicles, and 13 of those cities will ban all internal combustion cars by 2030, according to Bloomberg News.

Already, Paris, Madrid, and Hamburg have placed limited bans on diesel vehicles, prompting consumers to desert diesel-powered cars in droves. In 2018, diesel car registrations fell 36 percent across Europe, and they have dropped by more than half since 2015. The exodus away from diesel vehicles has been driven not only by concerns over air pollution and climate change, but also public anger after officials disclosed in 2015 that Volkswagen had been rigging emissions tests to make its diesel vehicles look far cleaner than they actually were.

Last December, Madrid began restricting access to gasoline-powered vehicles made before 2000 and to diesel vehicles made before 2006. And this month, Paris banned diesel cars older than 13 years from the city center on weekdays.

Bloomberg reported that even though consumers are forsaking diesel vehicles, they are not rapidly embracing electric vehicles, in part because of the lack of charging infrastructure. Across Europe, sales of EVs and hybrid cars made up only 3 percent of total car sales last year. Analysts forecast that by 2030, EVs and hybrids could make up about half of new car sales in France and that by 2040 EVs will account for about 40 percent of demand in Germany.