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Diesel car numbers down for first time in 25 years

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The number of diesel cars registered for use in Britain has fallen for the first time since 1995, new figures from the Department for Transport reveal.

Latest data shows there were 111,000 fewer diesel cars on UK roads in 2019 compared with 2018.

Petrol car numbers, by contrast, grew by more than 300,000.

The decline in diesel is set to grow. Last year, new diesel car registrations declined nearly 22 percent over 2018, according to the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders.

Diesel took a 25 percent market share in 2019, its lowest since 2003.

Between 2016 and 2019, new diesel car sales have almost halved, and the month-on-month fall has been unbroken for a full three years.

Electric cars on the up

Electric car numbers, however, are rising rapidly. In just one year, they grew more than 160 percent, from 55,000 to 89,000.

Plug-in hybrid numbers grew, too.

However, electric car sales need to rise even more rapidly if the UK is to meet its 2050 net zero carbon emissions target, warns the Transport Research Laboratory.

“There is encouraging data that their number is rising, but this trend must gain momentum, not lose it,” says the organisation.

It welcomed a recent government commitment to roll out rapid charging on every 20 miles of motorways and A-roads, plus the ongoing Plug-in Car Grant.

Further TRL research also showed that 80 percent of everyday motorists would consider an electric car if its range increased to 200 miles.

Also, 90 percent would consider switching to an EV if the range was 300 miles.

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