Renault says it will reduce its diesel-car range in Europe and introduce hybrid versions of its top-selling models.
Starting from 2020, Renault will launch plug-in hybrid variants of its Megane compact car and Captur small SUV, and a hybrid version of its Clio small hatchback. This strategy is believed to cut in half the diesel powertrain offer at Renault and as CEO Carlos Ghosn says, it is a first move towards the end of diesel.
“We will support niches and segments” where diesel will still be popular, Ghosn said, “but obviously today the trend is not in favor of diesel. You have to follow what the technology allows you to do, but at the same time interpret the political trends. They will determine which technology will be a winner.”
As a consequence, Renault is reducing production of diesel engines and increasing its offerings of gasoline, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
The plug-in hybrid models will have an electric range of about 50 km, while the hybrid Clio will be able to drive short distances on electricity alone. Both systems will be able to recapture energy through regenerative braking.
The Clio, Captur and Megane hybrids will be launched in Europe in 2020, just in time to help Renault meet the new EU fleet emissions standard of 95 gram per kilometer that start to take effect that year.