The future does not look so bright for diesels, as downsized petrol engines and cleaner alternatives, like hybrid powertrains, seem to take over - not to mention the negative impact of the whole Dieselgate shenanigan.
Volvo has already announced its plans to phase out diesels completely, with CEO Hakan Samuelsson saying that they’ll gradually become more expensive requiring much more advanced after-treatment with additional fluids in order to make them more environmentally friendly.
Now, Toyota is also questioning their future, with Autocar reporting that the Japanese car manufacturer considers phasing them out due to the much stricter emission standards that are on the horizon.
The fact that Toyota diesel sales in Europe aren’t that great doesn’t help either: Karl Schlicht, executive vice-president of Toyota Europe, commented that with the Yaris diesel model “taking up less than 10%” of the sales mix, it could be dropped in time”.
Schlicht questioned the profitability of developing new units, too: “I think that anyone looking at investing in a new diesel plant, which might have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, will have to look long and hard at whether they would get payback.”
It’s clear that the future of diesel engines at Toyota is uncertain, especially as the car maker announced last year its ambitious environmental plan that includes 30,000 fuel cell models and 15 million hybrids sold by 2020 as well as reducing by 90% the average CO2 emissions of their models by 2050.