Diesel Fleet Sales Fall Faster than Expected

posted in: Car Hire, General News, Van Hire

Has diesel passed a tipping point in the van rental sector?
New registrations of diesel vehicles fell by more than 25% in January this year. Even with the (literally) toxic press that diesels have been generating over the past few months, that’s still a greater rate of decline than even many market analysts were expecting.
Sewells latest market intelligence reports suggest the overall diesel market will contract by 17% this year and that 30% of fleet operators will be switching to some form of emerging technology (electric or hybrid). Of the 71% of fleets that currently use diesel vehicles, more than 40% expect that their replacements will not be diesel.
That is a spectacular fall from grace for a vehicle that no so long ago was seen as the saviour to cutting harmful emissions on our streets. But is there a way back?
On the face of it no, not unless some diesel manufacturer can produce a diesel free from the nitrogen oxide (NOx) that is at the heart of the diesel issue. Whilst the industry is keen to promote the fact that this generation of diesel cars and vans is the cleanest ever (and it is), NOx levels themselves have, as The Guardian puts it “remained stubbornly high.”
New tech is being developed to help limit NOx emissions, or to promote better driving that results in the creation of less NOx. It does seem, however, that these are sticking plasters on a much larger wound.
FleetNews reports Simon Staplehurst, commercial research director at Sewells Research & Insight, as saying: “The fleet sector has passed the tipping point from a default to diesel towards a greener future.”
That future is largely hybrid-based at present. 47% of fleet managers told Sewells they expect to be running some form of hybrid. The figure was a much lower 16% for electric, reflecting the current limitations of the technology.
At TJS, we’ve also started to introduce emerging technology to the van rental fleet. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with your local branch.