Faith in diesel engines has never been lower since it came to light VW was cheating on its emissions results, so Peugeot is going on the offensive to prove not all manufacturers should be tarred with the same brush.
Speaking at a press event, Peugeot chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon told reporters: “We know that we have a favourable positioning and we want to exploit this favourable positioning by letting people know about it.”
The ‘letting people know about it’ part he is referring involves publishing real-world figures for fuel economy as soon as in the spring of 2016, with an independent body verifying the claims.
Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) was keen to reiterate the fact it has never fitted software to its vehicles that can adjust emission levels in a laboratory test, a practice VW admitted to and has since caused its share value to slide and amount to what is estimated to be tens of billions in costs.
PSA also said it has been a leader in clean diesel technologies, pointing out the fact it fitted particulate filters to reduce soot emissions eleven years before the EU mandated them, and that it equipped its Euro-6 compliant diesels with Selective Catalytic Reduction to reduce NOx emissions.
French regulators recently said they may eliminate the subsidies given to diesel-fuel that make it cheaper to buy than petrol as soon as 2016.
The EU itself wants to adopt a similar approach to testing vehicle emissions using a test more akin to real-world conditions as early as 2017.
1.2 million VW vehicles have been affected by the ‘defeat device’ in the UK, 400,000 of which are said to need to physical modifications to rectify.
Peugeot is fighting hard to keep diesel as a viable alternative to petrol, hybrids and electric cars, but is it a losing battle? Only time will tell. But with the UK government seemingly turning its back on them, they will almost certainly be a tougher sell going forward.