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The rise of EV and the fall of Diesel



Tool Used



Shaun Aulakh



Over the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and a corresponding decrease in the popularity of diesel cars. As concerns over climate change continue to grow, more people are looking for cleaner and more sustainable modes of transportation. EVs, which produce zero emissions, are an attractive option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Additionally, the increasing availability of EV charging infrastructure and government incentives have made it more accessible for people to switch to electric vehicles. On the other hand, diesel cars are known to produce harmful emissions and are increasingly being phased out in many countries.

As a result of these trends, we can expect to see a continued increase in the adoption of EVs and a corresponding decrease in the popularity of diesel cars. This shift represents a major step forward in the transition to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation system.

About this viz...

The Data

For the visuals we created, we used data supplied by the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders). The raw data is in the form of several columns outlining registered vehicles by several fuel types on a rolling monthly basis. Firstly, we created groups for petrol, diesel and electric fuel types, clustering hybrids into their respective fuel groups for simpler visualisation. We also applied a table calculation (Share of Total %) to mould the data into a visually appealing line and bar chart, showing the trend of fuel types over the last 10 years through the share of vehicle registrations.

The Insight

The decline in diesel registrations in the UK after 2016 can be attributed to a combination of factors, including increased awareness of the harmful emissions produced by diesel engines, changes in government policy and regulations such as the introduction of low-emission zones, and advances in technology that have made cleaner alternatives such as electric and hybrid vehicles more accessible and affordable for consumers. This shift away from diesel cars represents a response to environmental concerns, as well as a transition towards a more sustainable and low-emission transportation system.

Contrasting this, the share of petrol vehicles being sold has risen due to the offset of the share of diesel vehicles and newer petrol engines are becoming more fuel-efficient, producing lower emissions, and offering improved performance. This has made petrol vehicles a more attractive option for consumers, particularly as the cost of petrol vehicles is often lower than that of electric or hybrid models.

The Visual

A line chart is the best way to show a trend over time because it allows the viewer to easily see the progression of the data over a continuous period. By plotting data points on a line and connecting them, a line chart demonstrates the direction and rate of change in the data over time. This type of chart is particularly useful when comparing multiple data sets or when analysing trends over prolonged periods. Additionally, line charts are easy to read and understand, making them an effective way to communicate complex data to a wide audience.

By animating both charts, the viewer can easily compare the share of different fuel types over time. In a race chart, lines or bars representing each fuel type are stacked on top of each other and move vertically when ranking changes and across the chart horizontally as share value increases or decreases. This creates a dynamic visualization that allows the viewer to see which fuel types are gaining or losing market share over time, as well as the rate of change.

About the author...

Shaun Aulakh

BI Analyst

Shaun has a solid background in all things I.T. and also brings great experience in Tableau and PowerBI solutions, having deployed these in both the start-up and corporate worlds. Key superpowers include Tableau, PowerBI, Qlik, SQL, Google BigQuery, Oracle, PowerApps and Python.

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