Great Britain has been a beacon of hope for automakers during the dire years after the last Great Recession as it recovered faster and delivered each year positive delivery results.
Now, UK’s cars are increasingly turning away from gasoline usage to diesel, impacting the local refineries that have not been modified to handle the new production demand for the fuel. According to the most recent figures from the International Energy Agency in Paris, Britain needed 540,600 barrels of diesel in February as demand more than doubled over the past 20 years – with gasoline losing a third of consumption during the period. According to a forecast from Wood Mackenzie LTd., an Edinburgh-based consultancy firm for the energy industry, diesel-powered autos would make up 37 percent of Britain’s fleet this year, jumping from 13 percent back in 2000. “The consumers view diesel cars as something that is environmentally friendly because hopefully they’re using less fuel overall,” commented Jonathan Leitch, a London-based research director at Wood Mackenzie.
The favorable diesel mix has also been triggered by the improving consumer confidence as the economy flourishes and because of falling retail prices. According to figures from the AA Motoring Trust, diesel pump prices were on average $6.59 a gallon when the year started – a five-year low. Total consumption of diesel in the UK rose to 21.2 million tons in 2012 from 15.3 million back in 2000, says the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, with two-thirds accountable for cars and the rest coming from light vans, heavy vehicles and buses or coaches.