Despite one city after another either banning or looking to ban diesel vehicles from the centre, a new report suggests that the fuel is not as polluting as many might think.
The Operational Fleet Insight Report 2018, released by the AA and BT Fleet Solutions, says the “dirty diesel” narrative is frustrating some in the industry because it’s actually just “anti-diesel rhetoric” and has little or no basis in fact.
In reality, argue some proponents of the fuel, cities will not be able to meet their clean-air targets without the use of the new diesel vehicles.
The AA-BT study surveyed more than 500 operational fleet managers and drivers and found that diesel-fuelled vehicles continue to be the most popular choice for fleet industry professionals because of a lack of cost-effective and operationally-appropriate alternatively-fuelled vehicles.
It did, however, find that around 35 per cent of fleet managers expect to be using electric vehicles in the next five years, even though they’re not sure about the feasibility of such vehicles for long-haul journeys or heavy goods.
Jennie Hill, director of business services at the AA, says: “Fleet managers are committed to their clean air responsibilities, but they are understandably concerned about reducing the impact this will have on their business and customers.
“It’s now time for Government, local councils and manufacturers to step up the quality of support they provide to fleet managers, particularly SMEs.
“New technologies like EVs are expensive. Unless these costs are mitigated up-front, only the largest fleets will be able to benefit from low-emission vehicles.
“Until fleet managers are reassured of this, cleaner diesel will continue to be regarded as the best form of compromise.”