No pun intended by the headline, but there’s still a lot of concern over where the government is going with diesel. Is there going to be a higher tax rate again? More punitive action against diesel drivers coming in to cities? Will manufacturers stop supporting the black stuff eventually?
We at Car Articles reckon that the debate will continue on for a while yet. The issue remains that for some vehicles – especially large ones such as trucks, SUVs, buses, estate cars etc – diesel remains the better choice. It performs strongly at a lower rev rate and offers a lot of torque (pulling power). For very heavy vehicles, a larger petrol engine would simply be inefficient. This picture of course could change with the wider adoption of hybrids. Modern tech means cleaner petrol and diesel engines.
The other type of vehicle seen on the road as a diesel is what was previously termed the ‘Mondeo Man’. The driver that has a significant commute or spends a lot of their working day on the road. Again, company car tax rates tend to be lower with a modern, efficient diesel. The break-even rate for buying a more expensive diesel car to begin with can be as low as around 20,000 miles in a year which some cover with absolute ease.
The difference between petrol and diesel fuel in terms of emissions seems to boil down to petrol being worse for the environment as a whole and diesel being worse for the lungs of people. Granted, neither is good… but if there is no environment left there won’t be many people to breath in diesel fumes!
What we’d like to see is room for clean, efficient engines of the petrol and diesel variety across the board. Measures of all pollutants should be made clear to car buyers so that an informed decision can be made on which car and engine to select. Knowledgeable sales people making sure customers get the right car to suit their needs is also very important. Finally, clear government policy on all forms of pollutants should be published and made available to all.