PSA Group could be about to end its involvement with diesel and instead focus on electric and hybrid technology, according to reports in France.
The company is about to launch a new diesel engine, the BlueHDi 1.5-litre, which will be used through its Peugeot, Citroen and Opel brands. However, this could also be the company’s last oil-burner.
According to Patrice Marez, the company’s leading powertrain expert, the development of the new engine has cost the company a lot, especially as it needs to comply with strict emissions rules in a world where the technology is coming under increasing scrutiny. Speaking to L’Auto Journal, he suggested that ‘redeveloping a new diesel engine is now not a priority.’
The company currently relies on diesel power, with 47% of its vehicle sales featuring the technology. However, as part of the group’s Push to Pass strategic plan, it expects 50% of the production of all its brands will be made with only full electric or hybrid drivetrains. Speaking at the Detroit motor show early in 2018, CEO Carlos Tavares suggested the company was targeting 100% electrification by 2025.
The move may have been seen as bold up until a few months ago, as France was very much reliant on diesel. However, the market share of the fuel in the country fell below 50% for the first time since 2000. Registrations declined 5% for the year to 47% of all sales. Therefore moving away from diesel would make sense for a company looking to cut costs and improve profitability.
Read more: AutoVista