Despite being hit by high taxes, banned from some cities, and demonised as an environmental terror, diesel cars still have countless fans in Lancashire, with more than a third of the county's drivers adamant the black pump is here to stay regardless of the looming 2040 ban.
Convinced that diesel cars will outlive the planned extinction, some Lancastrian motorists are of the view that the vilification of the fuel has been unfair, with 37% of the respondents to a carwow study claiming that the 'dieselgate' fallout was over the top.
Despite 79% of those surveyed insisting that we need to do more to reduce emissions, drivers are supposedly of the view that the responsibility should not lie with them, with just 43% confirming that they would consider switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle within the next two years and just 10% believing that diesel cars will disappear from roads entirely.
“Any assumption that diesel will trickle to zero is presumptuous - we don’t believe this will happen, at least not in the foreseeable future," said carwow's International Trading Director Alex Rose. “While diesel sales are much lower than they used to be across the country and may never recover as strong a market share, there won’t be a vanishing point where the cars simply disappear from roads and forecourts.
“If the UK government is serious in its desire to rid UK roads of diesel, then it needs to clarify its future position on fuel types in terms of taxation and other penalties or incentives," Alex added. "The current uncertainty is perpetuated by frequent and contradictory announcements which are unhelpful to consumers and potentially damaging to the industry."
Reflecting Alex's beliefs that the diesel model is likely to stick around for years to come, some 10% of drivers claimed that their next car is likely to be a diesel regardless of impending deadlines, while a further 25% are convinced that alternatively-fuelled vehicles will not become commonplace in their lifetime.
“As an industry we could be more decisive; collectively, the automotive sector hasn’t done a great job of clarifying just how clean modern diesel engines are," Alex said. “For drivers doing regular, long distances in their cars, a modern diesel engine is still a sensible choice, particularly for heavier vehicles, for which a diesel engine is perfectly suited.
“New ‘clean diesels’ now offer the power of older models but thanks to their ultra-low sulfur fuel, emissions control technology and generally more efficient engines, clean diesels now have near-zero emissions," he added. "As a result, our future will see diesel continuing to play a significant role in powering vehicles, alongside petrol, electric and hybrid.”