One could say that the future of diesel is in limbo. Some manufacturers are opting to bail out on diesels in favor of hybrid or electric powertrains. Others still swear by them, citing that the diesel engine still has life left in it. Peugeot, one of the pioneering automakers in diesel passenger cars, is firmly in the camp of diesel believers.
Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato spoke with Automotive News Europe and outlined his plans to fight the diesel decline. The CEO said that they will keep building and developing diesels because the company is looking at matters from a global standpoint. He pointed out that it will all depend on local regulations to choose the best powertrain for a certain region. Imparato added that nobody knows how the electrification of vehicles will pan out, which is why diesels should still stick around.
Further cementing their stand in the diesel debate is the fact that the company put out an all-new diesel engine. Dubbed the BlueHDI 130 S&S, it packs a more advanced particulate filter, as well as an enhanced exhaust system to burn out emissions. The 1.5-liter diesel was first fitted in the facelifted 308, and has made its way to the D-segment 508.
With that, Peugeot's efforts to keep diesels around doesn't mean they are not investing in electric power. Imparato says that there will be a slew of hybrid and electric models to roll out by next year. He specifically mentioned the 308 to be available with electric power by 2019. Diesel hybrids, while not a new idea, are another option for the French marque. Imparato forecasts that electric vehicle sales for Peugeot will be at about 10 percent while hybrids will be at approximately 30 percent, leaving the remaining parts a mix between gas and diesel vehicles.
Imparato's sentiments mirror those of BMW and Daimler. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said last year that 'diesels are worth fighting for'. On the other hand, BMW CEO Harald Krueger said that future mobility “will definitely depend on state-of-the-art diesels”. Both German executives believe that diesels can be made even cleaner than gas-fed engines if given more development.
Source: Automotive News Europe