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Which Country Is Ditching Diesel the Fastest?

After the Dieselgate scandal in 2015, Europe and the UK have been doing their best in the fight against air pollution. With their zero-emissions goal and the ban on diesel and petrol vehicles, governments and authorities have been busy coming up with one program after another, introducing new mandates, and fining carmakers violating emissions regulations. Consumers have also been doing their part.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association or ACEA recently gathered ad released data that reflected the latest figures in electric car sales. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, sales have been quite steady. Reports even confirm that the current numbers have set a new record in the EU.

Here’s an overview of the sales figures:

  • Over 1.3 million APV or alternative propulsion vehicles were registered in the last quarter of 2022. This is equivalent to a 53.1% EU market share. APVs are zero-emissions or low-emissions systems that do not rely on petroleum-based fossil fuels such as diesel and gasoline or use a hybrid system that combines fossil fuels and a motor or any renewable energy source such as steam, wind, solar panels, and electric batteries.
  • APVs had more sales than petrol and diesel vehicles.
  • BEVs or battery electric vehicles (pure EVs) broke records with a 12.1% total market share in 2022. This is significantly higher than their 2019 (1.9%) and 2021 (9.1%) market shares.
  • From a 22.2 total market share in 2021, hybrid vehicle sales slightly increased to 22.6% in 2022.
  • There was also an increase in the registration numbers for new BEVs (battery electric vehicles) from October to December 2022. The total number of units sold was 406,890, or a 31.6% increase.
  • The majority of EU markets reflected significant growths in BEV sales. Germany had the most with over 198,000 units, followed by France with more than 62,000 registered sales, and Sweden with 37,013 units sold.
  • Although Cyprus sold only 108 BEV units in 2022, it had the biggest increase in BEV sales, with a 671.4% increase from its 2021 sales.
  • The BEV market saw major growth in the last quarter of 2022.

While there are drivers who continue to favour petrol and diesel-powered vehicles, the downward trend has started. If their EU car sales are combined, they make up 52.8% of the total car sales for 2022. Additionally, the ACEA report indicates a 19.7% decrease in diesel vehicle sales, specifically in Belgium and France.

Car dealership groups have taken note of the changes and believe that consumers are now better informed and are particularly conscious of the petrol and diesel ban beginning in 2035.

EU countries that registered the highest percentage of new EVs include Norway with 86%, Iceland with 64%, Sweden with 47%, Denmark with 35%, and Finland with 32%.

Why the world is ditching diesel

Across the world, countries are exhausting all efforts to become diesel-free at the soonest time possible. Suddenly, everyone is busy switching to EVs and other cleaner alternatives. Even though there are car owners who still favour them, diesel-powered vehicles are slowly disappearing from the roads.

Diesel used to dominate the market, with the majority of car owners choosing it over other options (i.e., petrol) because, at that time, it was the most environmentally friendly alternative. Things changed after the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal.

In September 2015, US authorities allegedly discovered defeat devices installed in thousands of Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles sold in the American market. The devices are used to manipulate emissions so vehicles can easily pass regulatory tests. The Volkswagen Group received a Notice of Violation and had to recall hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles. Over the years, VW has spent billions in payoffs – for fines, fees, and compensation.

A defeat device can sense when a vehicle is about to be tested and it will automatically and temporarily lower emissions to levels that are within the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). To regulators, the vehicle is emissions-compliant and therefore safe for selling and driving. In reality, though, this is only possible during testing conditions. When the vehicle is driven on real roads, outside the lab, it releases massive volumes of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

NOx is a group of gases. It is highly reactive and has nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) as primary components. NOx contributes to the formation of acid rain, smog, and a pollutant called ground-level ozone that can weaken and destroy plants, crops, and other vegetation.

Studies published over the years have also shown how exposure to NOx emissions can trigger depression and anxiety, among other mental health-related issues. Recent studies have also indicated how NOx can affect cognitive health and increase your risk of dementia.

Exposure to nitrogen oxide emissions can cause serious health impacts, including:

  • Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory illnesses
  • Chronic lung function
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Premature death

The Volkswagen Group and other carmakers alleged to have used defeat devices, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, should be held responsible for exposing their customers to life-threatening NOx emissions. Authorities urge affected drivers to file a diesel claim so they can receive compensation.

How do I start my diesel claim?

Before working with an emissions expert to file your emission claim, you should first visit Emissions.co.uk to find out if you are qualified to receive compensation. They’ll provide you with all the information you need to start your diesel claim.

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