Mane Automotive Issue 2 - March 2019 - Page 14




Petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric. The four different types of cars currently available on the market. The question is how each different type of car is doing in today’s market? With the variety of fuels on offer these days, choosing a car has been more difficult than ever.

Over the last year, petrol sales have increased. Many say this is due to the uncertainty around diesel emissions. More people are purchasing petrol cars as diesel cars are being driven off the forecourts because of “environmental pressures and customer confusion.” However saying this, the advancements in technology has allowed for petrol engines to become highly efficient for regular use which has brought them in line with tighter regulations surrounding C02 emissions.

Sales of diesel cars have plummeted in the UK due to the economic and political uncertainty over the government’s plans. Just over 750,000 new diesel cars were registered in 2018 compared to 1.06 million in 2017, resulting in a decline of over 25%. Diesel cars were promoted by the government for more than a decade because, they had, on average 20% lower C02 emissions and 20% better official fuel economy to their petrol counterparts. Not only this, but they had lower road tax and company tax but in recent years the government has taken a U turn as they are planning to ban the sale of new diesel vehicles from 2040.

Hybrid and electric:

Fuelled cars such as hybrid and electric cars, are becoming a more popular option for buyers as sales increased by 25.3% to grab a market share worth 6.8%. As of august 2018 electric cars exceed 1 million in Europe as sales soared by over 40%. The public are now turning to hybrid and electric cars as they know this is where the future of the automotive industry lies due to how the government are planning to cut down on emissions by eventually banning diesel and petrol cars in a bid to cut down on emissions.

What is a hydrogen car and is anyone buying them?

A hydrogen car is a car that is solely powered by hydrogen (obviously) which is injected into its fuel tank at hydrogen filling stations, much like how you would fill up a petrol or diesel car. They take energy from hydrogen and pass it through a fuel cell to then be converted into electric energy with heat and water created as by-products.

Currently, there are only a handful of hydrogen filling stations open to the public around the UK. Most are in the south of the UK, with only three in the London area. The lack of stations has certainly played a part in the amount of hydrogen cars sold worldwide averages at only 3,000 a year. However, Toyota has said that it expects more than 30,000 hydrogen vehicles to be sold annually during the 2020’s.

We will have to see whether hydrogen cars are really the fuel for the future or just another failed idea.