According to a recent analysis of European diesel sales by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), European cities are setting the tone in the diesel debate. Specifically, policy announcements from major cities have raised doubts about being unable to drive a diesel in important urban areas. This is creating doubt about the resale value of diesel cars and curbing consumers’ appetite for diesel technology, the ICCT analysts said.
Diesel car registrations are down in Europe: March 2017 saw a 5-year low in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, which together make up almost 60% of the European new car market. Dieselgate sparked this development and revealed national regulators’ failure to police the car market, but cities are now leading the charge against diesel cars.
Some cities are going further than just banning diesel cars. Barcelona, for instance, is exploring the superblock concept to clean up its air and to reclaim space from road transportation. With a plethora of options (and buzzwords) for cleaner, safer road transportation to choose from–electric vehicles, car/ride sharing, autonomous vehicles–it will be interesting to see how cities design future transportation systems. Whatever route they take, it seems increasingly likely that they will continue to drive diesel cars out of the European car market.