Lux Research: question is when–not if–a diesel ban will happen

Lux Research: question is when–not if–a diesel ban will happen

3 July 2017

Based on its analysis of government responses to the Volkswagen diesel scandal as well as to the ongoing publication of research highlighting the adverse effects of NOx and particulate matter on public health, Lux Research has concluded that the question is when—not if—a diesel ban will happen.

Lux Research compiled a non-exhaustive list of major global cities that have either called for a ban or are introducing restrictions to limit the number of diesel vehicles—a step we believes will eventually move towards a ban. The market research organization ranked each city on the likelihood of an eventual ban on diesel vehicles:

  • Confirmed. All diesel vehicles are now banned, regardless of their emission profile. No cities or countries have imposed a blanket ban.

  • Likely. Have or will have aggressive policies that severely restrict the use of diesel vehicles. The restrictions can be in the form of a pollution tax (London), a ban on pre-Euro VI diesel vehicles (Stuttgart), or as a temporary blanket ban (Oslo).

  • Possible. Display increasing momentum in introducing bans or restrictions on diesel vehicles. Momentum can be represented through repeated announcements on the issue and/or adopting minor restrictions to deter the sale of new diesel vehicles. In December 2016, Paris and Madrid announced intentions of banning diesel vehicles by 2025, and both have since made further announcements to reinforce their intention. Seoul and Singapore have or will have restrictions on diesel vehicles, but have not formally signaled their intention for a blanket ban.

  • Unlikely. Announced intentions of banning or restricting diesel vehicles, but no indications to follow through on original announcement. Mexico City and Athens announced together with Paris and Madrid intentions of banning diesel vehicles by 2025, but Lux finds it unlikely that such a ban will be enforced, even in the long-term.

Click to enlarge.

By no means will a blanket ban on diesel vehicles happen overnight. However, the idea of a diesel ban is rapidly gaining traction, and with diesel car manufacturers struggling to abide with existing regulations, it appears that diesel’s days are numbered. The question is, therefore, when—not if—a ban will happen. Various stakeholders in the industry are already taking notice. Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson is anticipating a diesel-free future and recently said that the company intends to phase out development of diesel engines in favor of electric powertrains by 2023. At the other end of the spectrum, renewable diesel producer Neste published an opinion piece urging restraint in implementing diesel restrictions; the prospect of a diesel ban is particularly troublesome for Neste, as deployment of its renewable diesel will be severely impacted.

—Lux Research


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