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Diesel is a fuel of the future, says BMW corporate sales boss

Person using fuel pump in filling station

Diesel has received backing from the boss of BMW’s corporate sales division, labelling it as a fuel of the future.

Steve Oliver, general manager of corporate sales at BMW Group (UK) told fleet decision-makers at ACFO’s autumn seminar that diesel is a “massive part of the automotive landscape and very much part of the future”, and diesel technology would continue to advance.

Stressing that diesel engines were 20-30% more fuel efficient than similar capacity petrol engines, Oliver said BMW was “committed to driving the development of diesel technology further”. Nevertheless, he said it was vital for fleet managers to match “the right model with the right powertrain with the right driver”.

Amid the ever-increasing rise in the availability of plug-in hybrids and 100% electric vehicles - the Mini Electric will be produced at the Oxford plant and launched in 2019 - Oliver said: “Diesel remains a strong contender for long-distance driving.”

However, he added that for fleets the days of only having a company car choice list comprising diesel vehicles or, equally, only plug-in hybrids with the advent of new technology “was not the mature approach needed”.

Highlighting the requirement for a balanced approach to company car choice compilation he explained that diesels met the requirement for distance driving, electric and hybrid technology met short journey demands with petrol-engine models sandwiched in between.

“Diesel is not just a fuel today, it is a fuel of the future. It has longevity,” said Oliver.

Fleets face ‘unprecedented change’, ACFO chairman tells seminar

The diesel debate comes as fleet decision-makers are grappling with unprecedented change, according to ACFO chairman John Pryor.

He told 120 delegates attending the organisation’s autumn seminar that in almost 30 years as a fleet manager he could not recall such a multitude of developments that were “leading to a perfect storm of bewilderment, misunderstanding and incomprehension”. 

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  • Brian Cafferty - 27/09/2017 11:46

    Thank goodness someone with a voice and common sense is standing up for Diesel and putting forward a factual case, the fake news and actions from inside and outside of our industry has the capacity to inflict irreversible damage to the automotive industry and its supply chain.

  • Chris - 27/09/2017 12:06

    Change is coming, regardless of manufacturers trying to protect their market share and margins. Companies like Dyson and Tesla will have to stick to safety and emissions rules but in terms of manufacturing, they can rewrite new ways of building, reliability and costs. Diesel will be needed for HGV, rail and shipping where alternatives are more difficult to develop. Biodiesel and ethanol availability will force existing manufacturers to take that route and engines will be developed to ensure that vegetable based fuels can be used. These modifications will have low development costs as we already know the challenges. The price that the consumer pays is the main factor here and if the manufacturers don't address this issue, they will play a less significant role in the market.

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