European commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska has labelled diesel cars “the technology of the past” and predicted that they will “completely disappear” in the near future, as reported by Bloomberg.

Bienkowska said the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal was what caused a shift in public sentiment, especially the move towards cleaner cars and a greater awareness of emissions. “People have realised that we will never have completely clean, without NOx, diesel cars,” Bienkowska said.

Lately, car manufacturers such as Volvo has revealed plans to completely discontinue the oil-burning technology in the future. The next Volvo S60 will be the first model to lead the diesel-free charge. In fact, Volvo is committed to reduce even more emissions that it plans to discontinue any internal combustion engine displacing over 2.0 litres.

However, other manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover have defended diesel, citing that it is vital to combating global warming due to its lower CO2 output. JLR boss Ralf Speth said, “the latest diesel technology is really such a step in emissions, performance, particulates; it’s better for the environment when compared to [an equivalent] petrol. Diesel has to have a future.”

The EU recently called for automakers to reduce CO2 footprint below 66 g per km by 2030 (fleet average; 91 g/km by 2021), but has since received criticism from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association for being “too aggressive” in its pursuit. It said the move is “aggressive when we consider the low and fragmented market penetration of alternatively powered vehicles across Europe to date.”

Several major cities have also mulled the possibilities of banning diesel cars altogether, with Hamburg being one of the first to ban Euro 5 and older diesel cars. Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks told Bloomberg, “it’s the automakers who caused the problem, and we can’t let them evade responsibility. We need not only software updates, but technical modifications of diesel cars that significantly lower NOx emissions so you can continue to drive in the inner cities.”