French autorouteIn a further illustration of the country’s renewed anti-diesel stance, France is to consider phasing out tax breaks for diesel cars by the end of the decade.

French environment minister Segolene Royal told France 5 television: “We need to start preparing our move out of diesel right now.

“We should phase out diesel’s advantage over five years.”

Royal said taxes on diesel cars should be progressively increased, but offset by new tax breaks on clean-fuel vehicles; diesel fuel tax in France is currently €0.15 cheaper than petrol.

France was one of the first countries to really embrace diesel back in the 1990s; today, more than half the cars on French roads are diesel. Home manufacturers PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Renaults helped pioneer the modern diesel with turbocharger and direct injection technology.

But in recent years, French officials has started to fall out of love with diesel, due to concerns over the country’s poor air quality in major cities such as Paris.

Last year, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo revealed plans to ban diesels from Paris by 2020; earlier in the year, French PM Manuel Valls called the country’s reliance on diesel cars “a mistake”.

Now diesel’s image has been further tarnished because of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, it seems the French government is set to respond with an official disincentivisation of diesel.

More on the VW Group scandal on Motoring Research

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