Diesels could become unaffordable

The European Commission is trying to get vehicle makers to agree to bigger cuts in emissions from diesel engines.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said car companies needed enough time to implement changes to emissions testing and the pressure comes in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Diesel vehicles have been encouraged in many European markets because they can produce less carbon dioxide than those with petrol engines.

The trade body said diesel was an important part of meeting future CO2 targets and it was important for the Commission to let manufacturers plan and implement necessary changes.

The VW scandal, in which saw the German car maker admit rigging emissions tests, has put significant pressure on diesel vehicle manufacturers.

Diesel engines emit higher levels of nitrous oxide (NOx) that are harmful to human health. European government officials have set out plans to introduce real-world measurements of NOx emissions rather than rely on laboratory tests.

The new testing regime is due to start early next year, with the results coming into effect in 2017.