As many as 1.4 million diesel vehicles circulating on Portugal’s roads face never being able to travel outside the country.
The news comes as the crackdown on diesel-powered vans and cars has already been supported by 11 European cities, including Madrid and Paris.
From 2025, diesel vehicles face an outright circulation ban in those locations. But before that, only recent, “environmentally-friendly” models will be tolerated – and these, according to Diário de Notícias, mean diesel-powered vehicles manufactured in the last three years.
In other words, any diesel vans or cars manufactured and purchased in Portugal pre-2014 are now on an ever-widening blacklist.
Says DN, the new rules will affect the “almost million and a half vehicles sold nationally between 2006 and 2014”.
Indeed, to be able to circulate on European roads in future, affected vehicles will need to be “repaired” to bring their emissions up to acceptable levels, says the paper.
While the news has sparked a major ‘diesel-dumping’ in countries like Germany, it is being taken surprisingly well in Portugal.
DN remarks: “No one shows any real concern”.
The sales sector “believes the sale of diesel cars will not be affected, while the government “resorts to silence” when questioned whether it will introduce incentives to people to off-load their “most-polluting vehicles”.
Carlos Barbosa, president of Portugal’s automobile club ACP has told the paper “diesel cars will not be disappearing so soon. Only dreamers think that way.
“We will have combustion vehicles for a long time yet”, he added. “Manufacturers are increasingly making smaller, cleaner engines. In five years time, a diesel car will be worth more than a petrol car”, which neatly sidesteps the immediate issue that sees 1.4 million vehicle owners basically landlocked.
What is not so clear from DN’s article is how authorities abroad will deal with Portugal’s environmentally-unfriendly diesel vehicles if their drivers do venture over the border, for instance for family holidays or business trips.