Diesel Car Sales Fall – Cause and effect?

Late last week, the BBC reported that diesel car sales fell by 37% for March 2018 when compared to 2017 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43655703). These figures came from the industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders (SMMT) and show a continuing downward trend for diesel vehicles.

It is reasonable to assume that this decline in sales is likely to continue in the short-term, following well-publicised events such as the VW emissions scandal, a landmark ruling in a German court that asserted that cities were allowed to ban diesel vehicles in a bid to tackle pollution, and London breaching yearly air pollution limits within weeks. The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to encompass the current Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ), the additional T-Charge and Parking Levy are all initiatives designed to curb London’s air issues, yet all approach the issue assuming that reducing numbers of these vehicles is the only solution.

Tantalum’s Air.Car project, which accurately measures a vehicle’s NOx and CO2 emissions offers drivers and legislators a new way to account for harmful NOx emissions and take action to reduce their air quality impact through smarter driving. This approach allows for a fair charging of individuals based on their actual pollution, which can be significantly affected by both the quality of vehicle care and the individual’s driving style.

A report released in January 2018 by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) entitled Funding Roads for the Future highlighted the extent to which developments in connected car technology, such as Air.Car, could help policy makers make road charging fairer. These changes, allowed by advancing connected technology, include directing traffic in ways that minimise pollution in areas around schools and hospitals at peak times and viewing real-time pollution accurately on a city-wide scale.

Tantalum has been overwhelmed by companies, fleets and city authorities across the globe wanting to join the Innovate UK funded 1,000 vehicle field trial for real-time NOx emissions, leading to reports featured on Reuters, BBC’s Business Live and BBC Click, and Germany’s ZDF TV.