White Diesel, Road Diesel, DERV, ULSD - Information and Pricing

Diesel fuel has a rich history and continues to play a significant role in many sectors today. Here is an overview of the history of diesel use, its current applications, and a glimpse of how diesel prices have evolved over time.

Variety of Names Given to Diesel:

There are a number of names used across the country for diesel. Diesel can also be known as White Diesel, Road Diesel, Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel or DERV, however all these names refer to the same fuel.

History of Diesel Use:

The diesel engine was named after its inventor Rudolf Diesel and was patented in 1892.
Diesel engines differed from gasoline engines by using compression ignition rather than spark ignition. The first successful demonstration of a diesel engine took place in 1897, showcasing its efficiency and durability compared to steam engines of that era.
Diesel engines gained popularity due to their superior fuel efficiency and ability to operate on heavy fuels. This led to their adoption in various applications, including industrial machinery, ships, trains, and later in automobiles. The diesel engine's versatility and power made it well-suited for heavy-duty applications.

Current Applications of Diesel:

Diesel fuel continues to be widely used today across many sectors. Here are some key applications:

1. Transportation: Diesel engines power various vehicles, including trucks, buses, trains, cars and ships. They are commonly employed in long-haul trucking, where the high fuel efficiency provide advantages for transporting goods over long distances.

2. Agriculture and Construction: Diesel engines are extensively used in agricultural machinery however most users for agricultural purposes will be able to use red disel, which is a rebated fuel and cheaper than white diesel. Diesel engines remain prevalent in construction equipment like excavators, loaders, and bulldozers, where their power and durability are essential for heavy-duty operations, however recent government legislation now requires construction to use white diesel, rather than red diesel which was previously permitted for this purpose.

3. Industrial Applications: Diesel engines are employed in stationary power generators to provide electricity in remote areas, construction sites, and during power outages. They also power oil and gas drilling rigs and other industrial machinery.

4. Military: Diesel engines are commonly used in military vehicles, tanks, and generators due to their reliability and high torque output.

5. Off-Road Vehicles: Diesel engines are found in off-road vehicles like SUVs, pickup trucks, and some recreational vehicles (RVs). Their fuel efficiency and towing capacity make them popular choices for these applications.

Diesel Price Changes Over Time:

Diesel fuel prices have fluctuated over the years due to various factors, including crude oil prices, supply and demand, government policies, and geopolitical events. The following is a general indication of how diesel prices have changed over the past 30 years:

1. 1990s to early 2000s: Diesel prices were relatively low compared to gasoline in many countries, reflecting its historical status as a cheaper fuel. However, the prices began to rise gradually during this period.

2. Mid-2000s to 2008: Diesel prices saw a significant surge due to increasing global demand, limited refining capacity, and rising crude oil prices. This was a period of relatively high and volatile diesel prices.

3. Late 2008 to 2014: Diesel prices experienced a decline during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. However, they started rising again in the following years due to recovering economies and increasing demand, especially from emerging markets.

4. 2014 to 2016: Diesel prices fell sharply as global crude oil prices declined significantly during this period. Oversupply and weaker demand contributed to the downward trend.

5. 2016 to 2019: Diesel prices generally increased, influenced by rebounding crude oil prices and geopolitical factors, such as production cuts by oil-producing countries and supply disruptions.

6.     2020 to 2023: This was an extremely turbulent period for diesel prices. Prices collapsed during worldwide lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, then reached record highs after the Russia-Ukraine war began in early 2022. The first half of 2023 saw prices tabalise at a lower level.

Please note that white diesel price trends can vary across regions and are subject to market conditions, government policies, and other factors. Get in touch with us via phone, live chat or use our quick quote form for the most accurate and up-to-date information on diesel prices across the UK.

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