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File photo. Toyota Yaris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Toyota to cease all production of diesel cars this year

It said sales of diesel cars have fallen dramatically in Ireland.

JAPANESE CAR MAKER Toyota has said that it will phase out production of all diesel engine cars by the end of this year.

With sales of diesel cars falling in Ireland, the company said it would help to contribute to a zero emissions society with its decision.

Toyota will now focus on making self-charging hybrid cars that it says are being purchased more and more in the Irish market.

It said that diesel passenger car sales have seen a 17% year-on-year decline between January 2017 and 2018, with sales of diesel cars only 20% of its overall sales, compared to 60% just a few years ago.

Toyota Ireland said that sales of hybrid cars now makes up 50% of its Irish market.

Its CEO here, Steve Tormey said that the move will “help deliver cleaner air quality for our future and that of our children’s children”.

Commenting on the decision, Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten said: “As a country we have no option but to move towards a zero emissions vehicle society to help protect our environment, improve our health and to ensure the next generation doesn’t suffer from complacency or inaction now.

Climate change requires all of us to make changes and Toyota’s initiative will significantly help lead us on our low-carbon journey.

Ireland has already said it will seek to curtail the sale of diesel cars in the future and a number of other car manufacturers have already begun moving to no- or low-emission vehicles.

Volkswagen says it will invest €34 billion in new technologies by 2022. Like other traditional carmakers, Volkswagen is stepping up its focus on the cleaner, smarter vehicles of the future, racing to catch up with US tech giant Tesla which has a head-start in the area.

France has formally said that it will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and Volvo Cars plans to start phasing out production of conventional petrol-only cars from 2019, with all new models to be electric or hybrid from that date.

Ireland has already been warned that it is unlikely to meet its own targets on reducing carbon emissions, and was recently ranked the worst performing country in Europe for taking action against climate change.

Read: The Paris Climate Agreement is REALLY expensive… but it could end up saving us money

Read: Irish cities among worst affected in Europe, say flooding predictions

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