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Shaun Sadlier's blog: Diesel development

Date: 04 April 2018

In the ongoing debate about which fuels fleets should be adopting for the future, a story broke that perhaps didn't get the attention it deserved.

It was about a technical development at Loughborough University that promises to virtually remove NOx emissions from diesel engines, a solution that is said to be easy to engineer and could be on the market within two years. Of course, news stories of this type appear often enough for a degree of scepticism to be appropriate but this is an interesting development.

At Arval, our current thinking is that diesel continues to be a cost-effective choice for fleets. Its fuel economy and CO2 performance remain excellent and, in Euro 6 form, other emissions are well controlled. Especially for higher mileage applications, it is an excellent option and, if you operate vans, there really isn't a practical alternative right now.

However, there is no doubt that a degree of 'demonisation' has taken place over the last year or more with new sales falling rapidly and, in a sense, this trend is what the new technology from Loughborough could reverse, providing it is as effective as promised and can be widely adopted at a sensible cost.

Certainly, we are monitoring reports from Loughborough, along with wider sentiment towards diesel vehicles. Some of the commentary on this subject over the last 12 months has lacked the balance that the public deserve and, with new developments like this one, public opinion towards diesel vehicles definitely has the potential to improve.

Shaun Sadlier is head of consulting at Arval