Electric car instead of diesel
The last few years have been a tough time for diesel-fuelled cars in Germany. Discussions about particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, threatened driving bans and defective exhaust technologies have caused annoyance among customers and resulted in declining sales figures. While the share of newly registered diesel passenger cars remained steady at around 48 percent between 2011 and the end of 2015, business plummeted noticeably from 2016 onwards. Only since 2018 has the registration rate levelled off at around 34 percent. This represents a plunge of a massive 14 percent. But who has benefited from this? And what is today’s situation around the diesel engine? Will there be a comeback? JATO Dynamics has taken a closer look at the figures since 2016.
First, customers have increasingly switched to gasoline engines from 2016. In 2018, the market share of gasoline-powered vehicles reached an all-time high of over 60 percent. But since then a new trend has been in evidence. Electromobility picked up speed – and the gasoline engine had to lose some of the market share it had just gained. However, it has not really lost any of its importance, because most hybrid models, which after all make up a large proportion of e-vehicles, are gasoline hybrids. Today, the market share is again at just over 50 percent, as it was before 2016. The rest is divided between diesel and vehicles with the various electric drive systems*.
This has at least been good for the average CO2 emissions. At just under 129 g/km, the fleet value today is back at the level of early 2016 and significantly lower than the highest value of the past four years (135 g/km). And this despite the fact that the number of SUVs increased sharply during this period and their consumption is comparatively higher.
Large SUVs are increasingly electrified
Only in three segments the diesel share is still high, similar to the case of commercial vehicles. These include pickups and campervans as well as the large SUVs. These vehicles are larger, heavier and have a higher air resistance. All these factors together result in higher fuel consumption. Therefore the more efficient diesel engines continue to dominate these segments.
But since 2020, more and more large SUVs are electrified*. While in the first quarter about two percent of newly registered large SUVs were electrified, in the second quarter of 2020 the figure was already about nine percent. Hope for the auto-igniter is only to be found in compact and large vans such as the Opel Zafira or Mercedes V-Class. Here, the diesel share has recently increased. In all other segments it has continued to decline. And there is nothing to suggest that it could increase again.
* Battery electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and range extenders
More about JATO and the products can be found here.