For many years, Toyota hybrids have been trying to get a market share on the European mainland. Although the European market was saturated with diesel vehicles, the efforts to get into the market have born fruits. Reports from Bloomberg indicate that this year, Toyota expects a 40 percent rise in gas-electric hybrids annual sales and they are on track to sell up to 50 percent in the whole region.
Toyota’s Prius did not get the best response when it arrived in the European market, where half of the cars or even more use diesel. Toyota is very popular in North America as opposed to Europe where it is not a big player. Small diesels which delivered above 40 mpg were highly affordable and widely available. Therefore, there was no reason at all to go hybrid.
The Volkswagen diesel crisis greatly affected the market. The event was however not cataclysmic, some people had forecast, in the weeks that followed the crisis outbreak. The Volkswagen crisis is seen as the commencement of the end for diesel cars, which is accelerated by factors such as technological and market factors. Cities such as Athens, Paris and Madrid have turned against diesel and pledged to get rid of diesels by the year 2025.
Strict regulations on emissions including those which are unrelated to diesel scandal, are likely to cause an impact to the slow death of diesel and the technologies that reduce emission in the diesel engines are likely to become or cause more trouble than what they are worth. The takeover of the gas-electric hybrids and the pure-electrics in the market will make diesel face more stigma in Europe.
Volkswagen is capable of bringing the diesels to a standstill. For instance, the Wolfsburg-based automaker is looking forward to introducing several pure-electric cars into the market in the near future, probably not very many years from today. And, given the high prices for diesel and gasoline in Europe, the electric cars that will be priced to compete with the oil-consumers will be very hard to resist.
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