Here's One Upside to a European Diesel Downfall

heres one upside to a european diesel downfall

With European regulators taking a closer look at the continent’s wonder fuel — diesel, that is — in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, oil burners could hasten their disappearance from European Union streets.

That would be great for police officers in the UK, who seem increasingly confused about what kind of fuel goes in their patrol car’s tank.

The country logged 2,147 cases of diesel being added to a gasoline police vehicle’s tank (or vice versa) between 2011 and 2015, AutoExpress reports, requiring over $580,000 in repairs borne by the taxpayer.

It’s a small number in the grand scheme of things, sure, but the instances are rising. British police fleets, like those in other European countries, were once heavy with gas vehicles, but diesel slowly crept into the ranks. Many forces now have more diesel than gas vehicles, mirroring their country’s civilian fleet.

The market share for diesel tops 50 percent in many European countries — Spain, France, Italy and Sweden, to name a few, and the UK until just recently. According to data compiled by the European Automobiles Manufacturers Association, it seems that after rising steeply throughout the 2000s, the high water mark has arrived.

It will be interesting to see those trendlines once 2016 numbers roll in.

The added scrutiny placed on the manufacturers of diesel vehicles (which have led to many investigations), coupled with new emission regulations, a reigning in of tax breaks, advances in gasoline engine technology and the slow electrification of the automotive landscape, will surely conspire to see diesel’s market share drop much further.

Of course, switching diesel-heavy municipal fleets to gasoline vehicles won’t have a happy ending for the taxpayer, even if fuel confusion damage ceases overnight. They’d still be on the hook for the increased fuel consumption of the fleets, erasing any savings.

Ditching the tax breaks that fueled the rise in diesel ownership would help slow the drain on European coffers — meaning, of course, that there’d be more revenue coming in to offset expenditures — and could theoretically benefit an average citizen. Whether your that citizen sees any personal benefit depends on a lot of things, including whether they have a car, and what kind of fuel it uses.

However, an increase in revenue on that side of things could be met with a decrease in new vehicle sales from domestic manufacturers. There’s no end to the different angles in this issue.

[Image: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 39 comments
  • DenverMike DenverMike on May 06, 2016

    It's also known as a "brain fart". It happens especially if you're filling up at the same gas station, and same pump you usually or mostly pump gasoline into your own car, or other car, except you forget you're in the "DIESEL". Yeah I start to do it too, then catch myself. "Fuel delivery" drivers (tanker trucks) do in too. Yes they're known to drop gasoline in the diesel underground tanks. Yes it's very easy to get storage tanks confused and get a few cars/trucks damaged before the error is caught! But I don't see a downside for the OEM, it's not their problem. No warranty ever covers damaged diesels from using the wrong fuel/pump. Easy money for the dealer and OEM, in or out of warranty.

  • Buckshot Buckshot on May 07, 2016

    I have a Honda diesel in Sweden and diesel it´s the only economical type of engine if you drive long distance. If you drive only in the cities, electric cars are ok, but they are useless if you drive 140 miles like me somedays. Our f*cked up politicians will probably ban all private transport soon.

  • Bryan Raab Davis I briefly dated an Australian fellow who was mad for Aspires; one of his better characteristics, if I’m honest.
  • ToolGuy Check out Ferrari's market cap:https://companiesmarketcap.com/automakers/largest-automakers-by-market-cap/
  • ToolGuy • Not sure who you get when you call the "Company phone" number listed on the recall report, but confident that it ISN'T Ferrari (someone either screwed up or made a conscious exception; recall might need a recall; where is my excellence in government that all of you are funding?).• 99% of them are fine.• On later models, additionally, a message will also appear on the vehicle’s dashboard that reads as follows: “Brake fluid level low, Go to dealer slowly”. That right there is classic.• Anyway, this is what happens when you build to a price point... (ba dum tsh!)
  • Art Vandelay And what a giant pile of sh!t ths new format is. Great job guys, way to run off the last of the die hards.
  • Theflyersfan If you ever want a review on a 2022 Mazda MX-5 GT RF, I'll be more than happy to type up a few thousand words and add in some great pictures in front of Churchill Downs for y'all!In a nutshell, I agree with this review. I didn't have a chance to try the Recaro seats because the only test drive available was with another GT that someone backed out in buying so it was being used as a demo. But from what I was told, if you're larger than a 38 waist or taller than 5'10", it gets tight. But with the standard seats, and I'm 5'10" and maybe 20 pounds from the 38 waist, I fit fine. Now getting in and out with the roof up after shoulder surgery (especially leaving the surgery center with most of the right arm under a nerve block) is the total opposite of graceful!!! The look on the nurse's face when the MX-5 pulled up and I'm partially wrapped up like a mummy was priceless.I've had mine since the middle of April and have already put 6,700 miles on it, including round trips from Louisville to Chicago and the Philadelphia suburbs. Averaged 38-39 mpg at a steady 75 mph, and it wasn't a torture chamber. The metal top helped a lot. The standard seats are a bit thin on padding, and there was a bit of squirming by around hour 8 on the Philly drive, but it's possible. But even though this design was released in 2015, I still get compliments from total strangers at stoplights, carwashes, gas stations, restaurants, etc. The Soul Red Metallic paint just makes the car pop. I wish it was available with the Terra Cotta leather (the gray above is available with it), and that it didn't have the standard all in black, because it gets thermonuclear in there with the top down and the sun beating on you, but a minor quibble. But it's just fun. Pure driving fun. The best stick shift in any car today. Solid brakes, excellent handling, a sane amount of power to where you aren't going to get into anything reckless and stupid. After a 12+ hour day at work, there's nothing better than dropping the top and driving the 20 minutes home with the better than I thought it would be Bose stereo playing Moby into my ears through the headrest speakers. Mazda has already announced there will be an NE model so I can't wait for that. It'll be interesting how they will keep the weight down with the expected changes to eke more MPG out of what is already an efficient car.
Next