1 December 2014

France wants to phase out diesel cars

France is to discourage the use of diesel power for passenger cars on a phased basis, writes Brian Byrne.

According to the country's prime minister, Manuel Valls, the push down the decades to make diesel the most popular fuel was 'a mistake'. Four out of every five French cars have a diesel engine.

Diesel has less CO2 emissions by volume of fuel used, but there are serious concerns about the health effects of other emissions, including particulates and nitrogen oxides.

Valls said France will introduce a rating system for overall pollution by every model next year, which will be used by cities to limit access or tax cars for use in their municipal boundaries.

In its push to encourage adoption of electric cars, the French government is already offering a €10,000 bonus for owners of diesel cars scrapping them for an electric one.