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

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



I can see a ban on older diesels in cities alright, and a weeding out of the worst offenders. Both of these would certainly be good. I am not so sure about the latest diesels, especially once they have been thoroughly tested.
However, I do not see many diesels being replaced by EVs, more likely some flavour of gasoline or NG hybrid.
It may well come from the car companies ( as many people have said), it will become cheaper to produce hybrids than diesels that meet Euro VII (or whatever) and this will drive future urban vehicle direction.
I can see EVs taking over where the miles / day can be predicted, else hybrids.


The science behind risk assessment and strategy to contain pollution informs legislators in a way that is force majeure.
People become reliant on the very things that hurt us.
The only thing worse than giving good advice - is not heeding it.


The problem in Europe is that too much of the price is based on taxation which is based on CO2 alone - this tends to favour diesel which is seen as low in CO2.
What they need is a "Euromix" of pollutants, including CO2, but also NOX, HC, particulates. Keep it simple, keep it measurable and verifiable. Then find some way of combining different pollutants. Lets say you pick 3 pollutants. Get the average values for cars in the last 2 years. Give C02 50% of the total and the rest to NOX and particulates (or ozone, or whatever).
Then you have a mix that won't favour diesel like the CO2 only one did.
Then levy your taxes. You can normalize it so that the amount collected stays the same overall. Diesel will start to fade out unless the manufacturers get a handle on it.


The movement for a blanket "diesel ban" is off-the-chart foolishness.

Most likely, diesel will be replaced by gasoline, mostly GDI at that. GDI has been shown to have higher CO, NMVOC, and PM/PN than current Euro 6 diesels, not to mention unregulated air toxics and higher emissions to refine gasoline compared to diesel fuel.

Even if GDI generally has lower NOx emissions, there's a trade-off even with that which doesn't seem to be taking into account. Ambient NO2 and PM nitrate (nitrate aerosols) may be reduced, but ozone and organic PM (SOA) may increase in urban locations.

According to the European Environmental Agency, ambient NO2 levels have been steadily declining anyway. If Europe is really having as much trouble with ambient NO2 levels as has been reported, it needs to adopt new certification test procedures to include driving cycles and conditions that may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal operation and use. The RDE test cycle may be a significant step in this direction.

James McLaughlin

Are we talking about light duty only? Or also medium duty and heavy duty?


I just found this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPM40ey1OHQ&list=PLAxofNln5mbVpFHdL_ul4r60KKL2hJeuD

It explains the chemistry of NOX production in diesels - among other things.

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