Fiat Chrysler wants to phase out all diesel models over the next four years, according to a report by the Financial Times. This includes all passenger cars made by FCA labels Fiat, Chrysler, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Jeep.
Only some utility vehicles such as a range of pick-up trucks in the USA may run on diesel a little longer. All others however, will have to ditch diesel by 2022.
The FT claims the move is due to “a collapse in demand and spiralling costs in the latest blow to the scandal-tainted fuel source,” and quotes sources close to the matter.
FCA will allegedly reveal a four year plan on June, 1 to phase out all diesel. However, the Italian-American carmaker has declined to comment so far. Yet, with tightening regulation, industry estimates quoted by the FT “suggest that the cost of developing diesel engines that meet new European rules will be 20 per cent higher than in the past, making the cars less affordable for consumers. At the same time, the costs of electric cars, which manufacturers increasingly need to sell to hit emissions targets, are coming down.”
Also, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announced plans to electrify more than half of the company’s portfolio by 2022 previously. With Maserati, he even plans to electrify all new vehicles as of 2019 (we reported) so the plan appears to be well in line.
FCA is not alone in phasing out diesel. Porsche just dropped all diesel variants with immediate effect a few days ago. This is in line with Volkswagen’s larger strategy to move away from diesel. VW’s CEO Matthias Mueller has made the then surprising demand during an interview last December. He said he believes the tax benefits for diesel should be phased out to support the expansion of electric mobility.
The German government has since shied away from any clear ruling or diesel-banning policy. The court is to come together again in Leipzig this Tuesday to decide whether German cities can afford to ban diesel vehicles in legal terms, or whether the legal situation will have to be updated before the ban can go into effect (we reported). Another option is to hand the decision over to the EU authorities.