The Latest on FCA’s Plan to Kill off Diesel Engines

Diesel no more—why FCA is cutting the cord with diesel engines in its passenger cars.

Reporting in Forbes suggests that FCA US will be dropping diesel engines from its passenger cars by 2022. What's behind the move?

The answer here is twofold.

First is future-proofing—diesels are in decline. FCA is just the latest in a long line of manufacturers, including Ford and Porsche, deciding that there's no future in diesel-equipped cars.

The other consideration is money. Emissions standards are getting tighter year over year, and the money going into developing lower-emissions diesel engines is money that could be put into the development of new hybrid and EV technologies.

In this day and age, it's almost taboo not to be putting forth effort into technology for electrification and autonomy in the auto industry.

Car companies tend to plan years ahead, and FCA is likely looking at this as a way to remain relevant and competitive in the long term.

Of course, these moves come right on the tail of recent diesel scandals. VW's infamous "dieselgate" is arguably the most well-known, with BMW and Honda, among other manufactures, following close behind.

And let's not forget FCA's own hand in alleged emissions cheating that came to light late last year. 2014-2016 diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s were reportedly sold with emission software that went against the U.S. clean-air rules.

As of this writing, a settlement has yet to be reached regarding this issue.

It's not just the U.S. that will be seeing the absence of diesel—it decreased nearly eight percent in Europe last year.

Italy, however, saw a rise and will continue to market and utilize diesel-powered cars. This, of course, is the home of Fiat.

On the truck side of the equation, however, don't expect to see any changes.

For many truck owners, there's no substitute for the combination of torque and horsepower offered by the diesel engine. Ram plans to continue producing these powertrains for its models.

So far, FCA is the largest automaker to cease production of diesel engines.

We're anticipating to learn more on June 1, 2018. This is when FCA US, LLC announces its next four-year plan, which is likely to lay some of these questions to rest while raising new questions and possibilities in its place.