Renault gives up on diesel

Renault Duster 700

Renault puts an end to dCi.

Renault is following the internal-combustion disinvestment trend, starting with diesel.

The company’s CEO, Luca de Meo, has confirmed that Renault is suspending its investment in any new diesel engines.

For a French car company, that is significant. European governments have long subsidised diesel fuel prices, incentivizing their use, with French car companies benefitting. 

The result has been an offering of turbodiesel engines with strong performance and very good cruising economy, but none of this matters in a world of escalating emissions control.

Like many other European car companies, Renault no longer believes that there is a justifiable business case for diesel engine research and development.

As the targets for future emissions become impossibly strict, engineers are realizing the limits of their technical capabilities. And for Renault, that means no more diesel engine development.

This is a shame, as the company’s 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine does excellent service in many markets, including South Africa. In the Renault Duster range, this 1.5 dCi is renowned for its nearly unbelievable fuel economy. The diesel engine won't immediately cease to exist, but there will not be any further improvements heading its way or a successor. 

It would have been unimaginable a decade ago, to think of France’s largest car company abandoning its diesel development programme, but that is now very much a reality.

For Renault customers in global markets where electric vehicle infrastructure is not forthcoming, the future engine offering could become very narrow. South Africa, being a case in point.

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