Analytical Instrumentation

  • Diesel Car Numbers Drop for the First Time on UK Roads

Diesel Car Numbers Drop for the First Time on UK Roads

May 25 2020 Read 223 Times

For the first time in 25 years, government data has confirmed the number of diesel-powered cars on British roads has dropped. In 2019, the United Kingdom was home to around 12.29 million diesel vehicles. This represents a significant drop from the 12.4 million recorded in 2018.

The DfT first started recording diesel registrations in 1994, when just 1.6 million vehicles were licensed. Since then, ownership continued to rise until 2019 when the total figure dropped to just under 12.3 million. Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) supports the downward trend, with analysts reporting almost 583,500 new diesel car sales in 2019. This is 21.8% less than the 746,332 diesel cars sold in the United Kingdom in 2018.

RAC says UK has reached a “motoring milestone”

For RAC Foundation Director Steve Gooding, the trend is positive and confirms that British motorists are developing a growing awareness of the need to phase out older diesel vehicles. “These figures hint at a motoring milestone – the possibility that we have hit or even passed “peak diesel” – due to the collapse in sales of new diesel cars together with the scrapping of older diesels, which have either come to the end of their useful lives or whose owners fear increasing restrictions on their use because of air quality concerns,” says Gooding.

Diesel van ownership on the rise

While the reduction is positive, a closer look at the statistics reveals diesel vans, which account for 96% of vans on British roads, rose from 3.86 million to 3.97 million in 2019. So, while the total number of diesel vehicles on British roads dropped, ownership of diesel vans is on the rise.

COVID-19 could compromise British manufacturing growth

Of course, the arrival of COVID-19 has thrown a wildcard into the mix. In March, the SMMT predicted the global pandemic and forced shutdown of manufacturing plants could wipe 200,000 cars off British sales by the end of 2020. This includes iconic British-made models by luxury brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover and McLaren.

While British car manufacturing may be facing a slump, a recent survey conducted by Grand View Research, Inc predicts the global metalworking fluids market will grow by US$11.99 billion by 2022. To find out more don’t miss ‘A Global Overview of the Machine Lubricants and Metalworking Fluids Marketplace’, which spotlights both water-miscible and not water-miscible metal working fluids (MWFs).

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