Toyota stops selling diesel cars in Europe

Mr van Zyl added: 'Toyota has been pioneering hybrid electric vehicle technology for more than 20 years.

On the eve of this week's Geneva Motor Show, Europe's first major vehicle show of the year, Toyota said it will stop selling diesel cars in Europe, beginning the phase-out this year.

The announcement was made on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show. In contrast, diesel made up less than 10% of registrations during the same year. Diesel and petrol has played such a big part in the Irish motoring psyche that it is going to take some time for us to evolve towards hybrid and electric.

Japanese auto giant Toyota is to focus on more environmentally sustainable vehicles, led by self-charging hybrid electric cars, thereby becoming the first mainstream auto brand to take immediate action away from diesel, which includes all current and future generation passenger cars.

While its passenger diesels will cease from this year, Toyota's Land Cruiser, Hilux and Proace vehicles will continue with diesel engines as will its commercial vehicles "to meet business needs", the company says.

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Like the C-HR, the new generation Auris will be offered only with petrol and HEV powertrains. For more power there's a newly introduced 2.0-liter hybrid system, which offers "an "energised drive" with 180 hp (134 kW) - and even steering wheel-mounted paddles.

For several years, HEV versions have been the dominant powertrain where offered.

"Diesel will be phased out in our passenger cars in 2018", Johan van Zyl, president of Toyota Motor Europe, said in Geneva, where Europe's first major vehicle show of the year opens this week.

Other manufacturers, notably Suzuki and Kia, have long-standing commitments to hybrid, but "Toyota was the first and focused all its efforts on developing and positioning the technology as a good alternative" to diesel, said Felipe Munoz, an expert at London-based auto industry analysts Jato Dynamics. Since then, HEV sales substantially exceed our diesel sales.

"In our latest new model, the Toyota C-HR, hybrids accounted for 78% of sales last year". The diesel option that's offered in Europe appears to be done for.

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