Diesel car sales will fall by around a tenth through 2018.
That’s the prediction from Aston University, which has said the worst is still to come following sales of the vehicles falling 17.1% last year in the face of consumer confusion regarding pollution levels and new taxes.
The university predicts they will account for just 15% of the UK market by 2025, down from a previous peak of 50%.
Diesel vehicles produce the overwhelming majority of nitrogen oxide gases coming from roadside sources but produce less carbon dioxide.
Professor David Bailey said diesel was dying a “slow death” and has urged the government to set up a scrappage scheme to encourage drivers to switch to electric cars.
He added: “The time is right for the government to take the initiative and offer up scrappage benefits to those who are prepared to ditch their diesels and switch to electric cars.”