Diesel cars on the decline
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has confirmed that sales of electric vehicles in the UK have hit a 12-year high, with electric vehicles accounting for a record share of the market.
Vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf have grown in popularity over the last decade as the deleterious effects of the emissions from internal combustions engines have become more apparent. Diesel engines in particular have been outed as agents of severe harm thanks to the high levels of particulate matter produced out of the exhaust.
Indeed, diesel vehicles were the biggest losers in January 2017. Out of a total of 174,564 cars registered in January, electric vehicles made up almost 5% of the market, while their diesel equivalents lost 4.3% of their market share over the same time period.
It is likely that the suggestions of higher taxes on diesel cars in the future has had an effect on consumers, many of whom will be reluctant to sink a significant sum of money into a car which may end up costing even more money further down the line.
The industry has also been rocked by a series of scandals over the last year. Its reputation has been somewhat tainted by Volkswagen, and possibly other companies, distorting emissions test results using engine software and other underhanded methods.
Oslo has already banned diesel cars, and other big cities like Paris are likely to follow suit in the near future. For instance, the City of Westminster is set to hit diesel drivers with additional taxes as of April 2017.
When this is combined with the suite of benefits available to owners of electric cars, and the improving infrastructure available to them, it is no surprise that cleaner cars are in the ascendancy.
The car industry is only heading in one direction and the days of the diesel and petrol car are surely numbered. Not only are people’s preferences starting to change, simple economics will force the shift away from the combustion engine. Battery technology has advanced far enough that the costs are coming down rapidly, and that will spell the end for the troubled diesel car industry.