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Diesels in Europe: Analysis of Characteristics, Usage Patterns, Energy Savings and Co₂ Emission Implications

UCD-ITS-RP-02-47

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Suggested Citation:
Schipper, Lee, Céline Marie-Lilliu, Lewis Fulton (2002) Diesels in Europe: Analysis of Characteristics, Usage Patterns, Energy Savings and Co₂ Emission Implications. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy 36 (2), 305 - 340

This paper examines trends in characteristics of light-duty vehicle fleets and new diesel cars in the 1990s in five countries in Europe. Diesels now typically comprise between 8 and 15 per cent of car fleets, and more than a quarter in France. On average, diesels consume 5 to 15 per cent less energy per kilometer than petrol cars. As deployed today, diesel cars are associated with very little savings of energy or reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, since a high proportion of fuel saving is lost to increased travel distance. However, recent trends in new diesel car characteristics, combined with recent increases in diesel taxes in some countries, could lead to much greater energy savings in the future.