By Ron Bousso
LONDON (Reuters) – Diesel car sales in Europe fell sharply in the first half of the year amid buyer concerns over pollution and falling resale value as governments seek to reduce combustion engine car sales.
“The disaffection towards diesel engine cars is spreading all over Europe,” the International Energy Agency said in a report.
The sale market share of diesel cars in the European Union fell to 36.5 percent in the first half of 2018 from 42.5 percent in the first half of 2017, according to the IEA.
Sales declined by 16 percent during the period to 3.12 million units, with declines in Britain reaching 30 percent.
In Germany, home to some of the world’s biggest diesel car producers including Volkswagen AG <VOWG.DE> and BMW <BMWG.DE>, diesel car sales dropped to 31.1 percent of the total in the first half of 2018 from 41.3 percent a year earlier.
As a result, demand for diesel in Europe is also faltering, down by 115,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August from the previous month.
A number of major European cities including Berlin, London and Paris have launched diesel car ban programmes to fight pollution.
Europe has been the world’s biggest market for diesel cars since the 1980s after governments sought highly efficient engines to curb oil consumption and limit carbon emissions.
Diesel engines have fallen out of favour in recent years over their high emissions of toxic particles and following Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in 2015.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Adrian Croft)