Fleets across Europe are unlikely to move markedly away from diesel power unless major tax and legislative changes are introduced, predicts Chevin Fleet Solutions.
The fleet software specialist says that recent concerns over the accuracy of diesel emissions tests and the effects on air quality of NOx and other pollutants are unlikely to create a shift on their own.
Ashley Sowerby, managing director at Chevin, said, “Fleets generally want to do the right thing from an environmental point of view but they are also under pressure to balance financial and operational factors.
“The fact is that the current dominance of diesel has been very much driven by tax regimes and legislation that were designed to place minimising CO2 at the centre of all emissions thinking.
“Unless there are changes to tax and the law – and quite dramatic changes – fleets will probably keep favouring diesel because it still provides the best balanced outcome when they come to making fuel choices.”
Ashley said that changes such as the decision to ban diesel cars from Paris by 2020 could mark the start of a legislation shift away from diesel and ultimately create quite a strong disincentive.
“Similar discussions are underway in the UK and Norway and probably elsewhere. It will take this kind of definite legislative change if fleets are to switch in volume to petrol, hybrids of even electric vehicles.”
However, Ashley added that an intelligent discussion was needed about the latest generation of Euro 6 diesels and whether they should be treated as pariah vehicles in the same way that earlier models were now viewed.