The demonisation of diesel is reaching a critical stage.
Next year could turn out to be a “make or break” for diesel – with the fuel facing further demonisation just as new emissions standards delivering real benefits become more widely available, says FleetCheck.
Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet management software specialist, said, “We seem to have arrived at a point in time where, in terms of public perception, any nuance surrounding the diesel debate has disappeared almost completely.
“Probably the best example of this is the blanket diesel ban that is going to be applied in Bristol city centre. Older petrol cars that probably have markedly worse emissions than the latest RDE2 diesels will be allowed in. It makes little sense and helps to create the impression that whatever technological advances are now made with diesel, its ongoing demonisation might be inevitable.”
Peter said that the general reaction to the introduction of RDE2 could potentially set the tone for how diesel is perceived in the future.
“RDE2 effectively puts diesel on a roughly equal footing with petrol from an emissions point of view. The question is whether everyone from legislators to the general public are willing or able to make that distinction.
“In a sense, the next 12 months could prove to be something of a make or break period for diesel. If its reputation doesn’t make something of a recovery with the new technology coming online, then it may never do so.
“This would be disappointing because, in many cases and especially for high mileage drivers, it remains the best option. Diesel may end up disappearing from choice lists for reasons of perception rather than actual fact.”