Diesel has become so inherently unpopular that there will be no large scale resurgence in its popularity despite improved environmental performance, says Arval.
As part of the leasing company’s Arval Mobility Observatory research, when asked how the availability of new diesel vehicles with equal NOx and fine particle emissions to petrol models would impact their fleet, there was a wide range of responses from fleet and mobility managers.
Forty-four percent said they would continue to by diesel cars and 5% said they would increase their share.
However, 29% said they would continue to reduce the number of diesels they operated, and 7% said they would persist with their current policy of not buying diesels.
When asked how diesel vehicles would be replaced, 4% of respondents would opt for petrol cars while 22% said alternatively fuelled vehicles.
Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “RDE2 diesels are starting to become available and some of them are comparable with petrol on NOx emissions while also offering CO2 output and fuel economy.
“However, it appears that diesel has become so inherently unpopular as the result of recent emissions controversies that there will be no large scale resurgence in its popularity, despite this development.
“Against this backdrop, it is important to note that around half of fleets are planning to continue to operate diesel cars, recognising their suitability in certain situations.”
Sadlier said it was noteworthy that businesses planning to replace their diesel vehicles are more often intending to switch into alternative fuels rather than petrol.
He added: “Roughly six times as many fleets will be replacing their diesels with hybrids or EVs as with petrol, and this should give a strong push to alternative fuel adoption over the next few years.
“Certainly, we see many fleets swapping their diesel vehicles are more often intending to switch into alternative fuels rather than petrol.
“Roughly six times as many fleets will be replacing their diesels with hybrids or EVs as with petrol, and this should give a strong push to alternative fuel adoption over the next few years.
“Certainly, we see many fleets swapping their diesels for hybrids.
“Our position is very much that the fleet of the future will use a diverse range of fuels, with the emphasis being placed on matching the needs of the driver to the right vehicle, and we are doing a lot of work in helping fleets start to make these decisions.”
The 2019 Arval Mobility Observatory surveyed 3,930 fleets, with a greater emphasis on mobility this year.
One of its major findings was that the vast majority of companies are not yet ready to give up their company cars for alternative mobility solutions.