Since the revelations about Volkswagen’s, er, indiscretions last year, diesel has been a dirty word to many. So much so, in fact, that manufacturers seem to have started debating the future of this controversial fuel – even though almost half of new car buyers in the UK are still opting for diesel models.
Writer Sam Naylor, from AutoExpress, was at the Paris Motor Show to quiz marques on their future intentions. The picture he gained was a pretty uniform move away from diesel, with manufacturers such as Honda, VW and Toyota all stressing that electric and hybrid models were the way forward. As Honda’s Phil Crossman told him: “the end-game is the fuel cell, I’m sure about that. A small petrol turbo leads into more hybrid cars, which leads into more electric cars, which leads into FCV. I’m not sure where diesel goes in that. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in 10 years diesel is a niche engine choice in Europe.”
Yet there’s still the commercial market to contend with, which will continue to rely on the heavier and more suitable diesel for many years to come. As a recent VW presentation even says: “For long distance transport, crude-oil-based diesel fuel with increasing renewable and synthetic components will remain the dominant fuel”.
For those concerned about not being able to refuel their cars in the near future, there is little to worry about. As Naylor points out in his article, diesel is a by-product of petrol and therefore it is very unlikely that production will be stopped any time soon. This gives consumers enough time to properly evaluate their fuel choices and decide on what is more appropriate for their lifestyle. Here at Signature we have both petrol and diesel models in our fleet, so if you want to come and compare options simply browse the range of cars we have for hire!