Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 6 months, I’m sure you’re aware of the demonetisation of the once heralded diesel car. The government U-Turn on diesel cars combined with diesel emissions cheating by more than one manufacturer has rocked consumer confidence in which was once the nation’s favourite fuel.
Our rocky relationship with diesel combined with uncertainly over Brexit has seen new car registrations fall overall (-3.5%) with diesel cars being worst hit.
Figures from the SMMT show that diesel sales in 2018 so far have fallen 28.2% compared with the same period last year. That’s quite a fall and very much a sign that diesel has well and truly had it’s day.
With crumbling diesel sales and fragile car sales overall the SMMT has called on government to support industry investment in all fuel technologies in order to help consumer choice and ultimately new car sales as a whole.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said “Despite a rocky first six months for the new car market, it’s great to see demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles continue to rise. Given these cars still represent only one in 20 registrations, however, they cannot yet have the impact in driving down overall emissions that conventional vehicles, including diesels, continue to deliver. Recent government statements acknowledging the importance of petrol and diesel are encouraging. However, we now need a strategy that supports industry investment into next generation technologies and puts motorists back in the driving seat, encouraged to buy the car that best suits their needs – whatever its fuel type.”
We’re fully behind advancing fuel and engine technology development, it creates more choice for consumers and ultimate helps reduce emissions and increase air quality. However, what must be taken into consideration is consumer trust which has been rocked with diesel scandals left, right and centre. Any advancement in technology must be at the benefit of motorists and not from manufacturers and their historically deceptive tactics.
Rocketing sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles (up by 45%) should be widely recognised as a good thing with continued financial incentives from government.
We realise that fossil fuels will ultimately become the minority, maybe it really is time to leave diesel cars behind us and push to a new breed of hybrid and electric vehicles that offer both the reliably, range and performance we have come to expect from the ancient internal combustion engine.
Let’s here from you!
Should we allow new car registrations fall for the greater good? Is hybrid / electric the future? Do you want to see a new breed of “clean diesel” technology. Let’s hear from you in the comments below.
(Image Credit: SMMT)