Renault will no longer invest in new diesel engines, instead updating its existing units for its ‘last generation’ of diesel models.
The French firm has been turning against the fuel in the past year or so, cutting numerous diesel vehicles from its UK range in late 2020 because of declining sales.
However, Renault CEO Luca de Meo has now confirmed what seemed inevitable, with the company’s next diesel models set to be its last and no new diesel investment on the horizon.
Renault has long built its own diesel engines and in some cases supplied them to other manufacturers, but it has now joined a list of car makers ditching the fuel, such as Lexus, Nissan and Volvo.
Diesel sales have been in a steady decline since the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal in 2015. The German manufacturer was accused of tricking emissions testing software so its engines appeared cleaner than they were.
So far in 2021, sales of diesel cars are down almost 47 per cent on the same period in 2020, while overall sales last year were less than half of that seen in 2019.
The news from Renault comes as the company has updated its ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan for the future. Key points include wanting to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040 and worldwide by 2050, as well as committing to improving inclusion and having more women in its workforce.
Safety was also high on the agenda. Alongside new driver assistance technology was the news that both Renault and its sister firm Dacia will implement 112mph top speed limiters in their cars, starting with the Megane EV next year.