The unveiling of a gaggle of new and upcoming supercars, hypercars and hot hatchbacks couldn’t disguise the overriding theme of this year’s gallic car-fest - Diesel, it seems, is dead…..Or at the least, it’s beginning the first of a long series of appointments with specialists before being shuffled off to a Swiss clinic for a glass of something bitter and very final.
Renault and Nissan's Chief Exec was the first man in white coat to give his prognosis - He says electric cars will outsell diesel and petrol in China within the next 3 to 4 years. Closer to home, industry analysts say diesel sales will fall from 50% today, accounting for just 9% of the market by 2030.
Driven partially by ever tightening emissions rules, there’s also a spike in the production of batteries starting this year which could cause the cost of electric car development production to fall, along eventually with retail prices.
This research and Carlos Goshn’s words were played out for all to see as the show’s halls played host to the unveiling of new battery powered cars and concepts from Opel, Mercedes Benz and of course Renault and Nissan themselves.
Volkswagen too brought some electrons of their own in the shape of their stunning ID electric concept, along with a commitment to launch 30 new electric models over the next 8 years. The ID, drawn with more than a hint of the current Scirocco, will be the first to hit the roads in 2020.
However, VW’s boss Herbert Diess says diesel will still play a part in keeping Europe clean for the next few years as the car industry works to meet the EU’s current carbon dioxide targets.