Petrol vs Diesel
News emerged this week that councils are going to increase parking fees for diesel drivers by 50%, in order to address the effects of diesel emissions.
This comes a decade after former Chancellor Gordon Brown introduced tax breaks on diesel cars because of lower CO2 emissions. This has since been accepted as the wrong course of action, in light of the fact that Diesel produces 4 times as much nitrogen dioxide and over 20 times as many polluting particulates.
Westminster Council has revealed that it will soon be introducing a 50% parking surcharge for diesel vehicles, but will this be more punitive than preventative? The vast majority of commercial vehicles in the UK run on diesel, so it could be argued that the diesel parking surcharge is largely a tax on the logistics industry.
Petrol vs Diesel vs Electric
So is it time to switch from diesel to petrol? And is it really worth investing in electric vehicles?
The reality for many independent businesses is that more expensive parking and fuel would just be something to initially absorb, until the time comes to replace the current vehicle(s). Even then, a small fleet might still be best replaced like-for-like.
The choice for the end user would ultimately come down to whether ecology is more important than economy.
Some have suggested that a diesel scrappage scheme would be a good way to encourage businesses and individuals to quickly move away from diesel vehicles. This method was used in 2009 to stimulate new car sales during a time when the UK was deep in a painful recession, but the full picture of diesel emissions was not known then.
Most manufacturers are actively planning ahead to future models using electric or hybrid fuel solutions, but for now we are looking at a transitional period for British motoring.