Earlier this year Mayors Across the UK Called for the Government to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars by 10 years. The ban, already expected to come into force by 2040, will forbid the sale of any new car that is solely reliant on diesel or petrol. It's a bold move, given that so far only 1% of the vehicles in circulation are electric powered, but a good move for the sake of the environment.
Some people believe that diesel is already dying, but 2017 saw more new diesel cars purchased than ever before. So, with the facts so far from the truth, perhaps it's time to clear up some other "Diesel Facts & Myths".
Fact or Myth No 1:
Diesel Is Dirty
Diesel was initially pitched as a cleaner alternative to petrol due to its lower CO2 emissions. But as time has gone on we've realised that while it may produce less CO2, there are other emissions, such as nitrous oxide and nitrogen dioxide, that bring its cleanliness into question.
Over the years diesel has continued to change, progress and improve. In many ways, it's still a developing technology. Since 2007 ultra low sulphur diesel fuel has been the standard, cutting the sulphur content by 97%. This caused an immediate improvement in air pollution levels, but it's not just the quality of the fuel that has an impact. The vehicles themselves play a part in the level of pollution the engine puts out. Newer diesel vehicles have been designed with the environment in mind, with adaptions and filters specifically to reduce the emissions.
So, is diesel dirty? If you're driving an old banger from the 1990s, then sadly yes. But if you're driving a newer, well-maintained diesel from the last decade or so, then it will likely rival its petrol alternatives when it comes to impact on the environment.
Fact or Myth No 2:
Company Car Tax Is Higher On Diesel Cars
When you're leasing or buying a company car there are lots of factors to consider, with fuel type coming pretty high on the list. One of the biggest worries our clients have when considering a diesel engine is that they'll get stung on company car tax. They've heard that tax is higher on diesel vehicles. Sadly, it's true. There is a supplement for diesel company cars. With the current tax rates, you'll pay 4% more for having a diesel engine. So, a higher rate, but not so high that it'll break the bank.
Fact or Myth No 3:
Diesel Is Cheaper
With ever-fluctuating prices, it can be hard to see where we stand with the cost of fuel. When priced per litre petrol is usually the cheaper option, but it's not quite so simple. Petrol may be cheaper but their engines are not as fuel efficient as diesel, especially when it comes to motorway miles. There is a lot of debate over which option is more cost effective, but it really comes down to circumstances. If you're doing high miles, on a lot of motorways, then diesel will be more cost effective for you. For short runs, in urban areas, you may find petrol is a better choice.
Fact or Myth 4:
Diesel Drivers Will Be Charged To Drive In London
London is known for its strict approach to driving, with its low emission zone and congestion charge area. But the recent announcement regarding an extension of the ultra-low emission zone has left many diesel drivers confused and worried that they'll be charged for driving in and around London just because of their fuel type. It is true that the low emission zone will be expanding in 2021, right to the outskirts of the city, making it 18 times larger than the central zone. But it's not true that only diesel drivers will be expected to cough up. The charges will apply to any diesel cars built before 2015, but it will also hit pre-2006 model petrol drivers too. Headed up by Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London, the changes are being put in place to help combat the air pollution in the City which is currently at a dangerous level.
Fact or Myth 5:
Diesel Is Dying
As mentioned earlier, last year diesel purchase hit a new high, but that doesn't mean that it's here to stay. The world is progressing, as it should. New technologies are being invented and cleaner, more efficient alternatives are coming to market all the time. Ultimately, yes diesel is dying, but not for a long time yet. Hybrid cars are fast becoming the future, with purely electric probably not far behind, the Tesla being a great example. However, we've yet to see a fully viable alternative for commercial vehicles. There are one or two options around, but they're certainly not mainstream yet. There will be a day when fuel-based cars ae only seen on the museums and our "dirty fuels" are taught about in history class, but we've a good few years before we see that.