The decline of diesel cars in the UK

The Department for Transport (DfT) has released figures that show the sales of greener electric and hybrid cars are outselling their diesel counterparts. Between April and June of this year 29,000 diesel cars were registered compared to 33,000 electric and hybrid eco-friendly vehicles.

This figure of 33,000 is split roughly between 20,200 hybrid vehicles and 12,600 all-electric battery cars, along with small quantities of hydrogen and bio-fuel models. The biggest selling electric cars were the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf, while the biggest hybrid sellers were the BMW 3 Series and Mitsubishi Outlander.

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These figures are even more impressive when they’re compared to just four years ago where diesel cars outsold electric and hybrid vehicles by almost 14 to 1. It’s believed that this move has been led by the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London where owners of polluting vehicles pay a premium to drive.

It is hoped that this trend will continue, especially with the government moving towards banning the sales of internal combustion engine cars by as early as 2030. The date of 2040 had been originally proposed in 2018, but Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that action could be taken by 2035 or even as early as 2032.

The opposition party also has strong thoughts on the subject. Labour ministers Kerry McCarthy, Matthew Pennycook and Alan Whitehead recently sent a letter to the Transport Secretary calling for the government to bring the ban of sales of combustion vehicles forward to 2030.

Matthew Pennycook, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, said: “2030 is an ambitious but achievable date by which to phase out the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles, one that would give a new lease of life to the UK car industry whilst combatting climate breakdown and cleaning up the air that dangerously pollutes so many of our towns and cities.

“It’s time for ministers to seize this opportunity as part of a world-leading green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, creating good jobs across the country and generating real momentum for next year’s COP26 climate summit.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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