Here's a bold claim that car experts are now making: Diesel might be going out of style.
Petrol and diesel engine vehicles still form the bulk of what Australians are driving. As a matter of fact, plenty of carmakers still produced turbo-diesel versions of their passenger cars and SUVs just a few years back. These vehicles suffered no shortage of buyers, thanks to their high torque and excellent fuel efficiency.
Yet, things have changed a lot since. It’s getting harder by the day to ignore the fact that people are losing their taste for diesel-powered cars. With this steady decrease in demand, carmakers are gradually decreasing their production, too, and coming closer and closer to the decision of dropping diesel-powered vehicles eventually.
But what exactly is causing this change? Have diesel vehicles gotten worse?
No, not really. It's just that other options have gotten much better.
Electric and Hybrid, the Better Options
The first and most apparent reason that diesel vehicles are going out of style seems to be that electric and hybrid cars have gotten so much better lately. These types of vehicles now have improved batteries that can take them much farther on a single charge than they ever could before.
Furthermore, there seems to be no stop to the new developments emerging in the electric car space. For example, Tesla and their battery supplier Catl recently announced that they've just developed a battery with a one million mile and 16-year lifespan!
As carmakers like Tesla and others continue improving their designs and engineering, it comes as no surprise that sales of such cars have gone up across the board in Australia. This is a clear indication that Australians are starting to 'see the light' with electric and hybrid cars and are choosing to make the shift.
Petrol Engines Are Getting Better
Improvements in electric vehicles aren't the only reason for diesel losing favour amongst the public. Its ICE sibling, the petrol-powered cars, have also been receiving significant improvements lately. Partly as a result of concerns about fuel efficiency and emissions, carmakers have been building eco-friendlier engines. This has hastened the diesel vehicles’ slow demise since drivers who may not be ready for an electric car still have the option to buy a much more improved petrol car.
So, as you can see, it's not that diesel vehicles have gotten worse. It's just getting much tougher for them to compete with their petrol and electric counterparts.
Carmakers Are Responding to Drops in Demand
As demand nosedives for diesel-powered vehicles, more and more carmakers are pulling them off their lineups. Right now, it seems that Hyundai may be the last to offer a diesel option for their small car, the i30. However, that diesel option won't be there at the end of the year when they introduce a facelifted model. For the upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe, however, it seems that the company will be offering both hybrid and diesel options side by side.
Toyota, on the other hand, has started omitting diesel options as it expands its hybrid offerings. The Japanese giant is promoting its improved petrol cars alongside their hybrids, leaving no more space for the diesels.
Diesel's Last Refuge?
At least for the foreseeable future, it seems that one space where diesel vehicles are still safe will be in commercial vehicles. Seeing how people rely on them to transport heavy loads and large groups of people, these vehicles still require the high torque that only a diesel engine could provide.
On top of that, commercial vehicles are subject to different emission standards which aren't as restrictive as those for personal vehicles. These different standards might mean that innovation and change will not be as rapid in the commercial vehicle category.
What do you think? Are diesel-powered cars really on their way out for good? Well, they could be. But in the Land of Oz, it will happen in its own sweet time.
Keep Them in Shape
The secret to keeping them longer is to keep them in shape all the time. Never skip regular servicing, and have faulty parts replaced right away before they cause other systems to fail. Luckily, we don’t have parts shortage this side of the globe. If you’re finding it hard to locate a diesel engine or any other auto part for your workhorse, don’t fret! Go to CarPart’s homepage and use this handy tool to request a part!
By Ray Hasbollah