PSA Group believes diesel will still generate significant sales beyond 2020 and play a critical role in meeting its official emissions targets. Gilles Le Borgne, research and development director of PSA Group, told Autoactu that next generation diesels would cut emissions and improve fuel economy, without cars costing more. Manufacturers are mandated to cut average CO2 emissions from new car emissions to 95g/km by 2025 or face substantial fines. They have recently met a target of reducing average CO2 emissions to 130g/km by the end of 2015, based on official emissions tests. Diesel will be used more extensively in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, Le Borgne said, adding that customers would ultimately decide which technology would win, so until then the PSA Group would make sure diesel was part of a wide range of powertrain choices. Diesel accounts for around half of all new car sales in Europe and although its proportion of total sales is declining, Autovista Intelligence analysis for the Diesel Intelligence report indicates that it will still account for 35% - 45% of the market in Europe by 2024. CO2-based vehicle taxes are a key factor in the popularity of diesel and governments tend to favour gradual changes to avoid disrupting markets, which means that any new policies are likely to only bring gradual declines in diesel demand.
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