It could be said that the emissions scandal from late 2015 made a lot of automakers doubt the long-term viability of the diesel engine. While some companies are standing by it, some are slowly letting go of diesels in their range. The latest one to join the latter is Nissan as a the company announced, via a spokesperson, that they will slowly phase out diesels in Europe.
The spokesperson said that the company is seeing the 'progressive decline of diesels' in the continent. However, the company did point out that they are not expecting a sudden end of diesel for the short term. In addition, it will only be the passenger car line that will see the discontinuation of diesel, meaning commercial vehicles like the Navara and NV Series vans are likely to soldier on with diesel power.
With that said, Nissan is pushing for hybrid or electric power for their passenger car range. According to Nissan, this will allow them to gradually drop diesels as hybrid or electric powertrains slowly take their place. The automaker did not discuss the timeline regarding the diesel phaseout, but it is possible that it may be completed by the mid 2020s. That also means that the next generation Nissan passenger cars might be powered by either gas, hybrid assist, or full electric, at least in Europe.
Another likely reason why Nissan decided to drop diesels in Europe is the tightening emissions regulations. By 2021, Europe aims to lower average fleet emissions down to 95 grams per kilometer. At the moment, the average stands at approximately 118.5 grams per kilometer.