Alarming words from Professor David Bailey of Aston University this morning, as he reveals diesel's "slow death" is being driven by "environmental pressures and consumer confusion" .

He predicts that by 2025 just 15% of new car sales will be diesel, down from more than 50% to levels below even the figure that they sat at prior to the government incentivising its purchase (15 years ago, back in 2002 just 19.8% of sales were diesels).

It’s ironic, of course, that Bailey’s words have been seized on by the national press and thrust forward as yet another example why people shouldn’t buy a diesel. The very “confusion” that Bailey has identified is now being fed - unintentionally - by his words.

Diesel registrations down 31% in November as UK market shrinks

The trouble is, the general perception is that all diesels are the same. And who can blame the layman, when any explanation has to take you deep into the inner workings of Euro 4 regulations versus Euro 6? It takes dedication not to glaze over at that point. Far easier, to stick with the snappy ‘dirty diesel’ moniker and vow to never buy another one.

But I really do believe it’s worth knowing better, and hopefully as an Autocar reader so too do you - because there are economic and environmental reasons to give the black pump a second chance, especially if you are a high-mileage or large car driver. You can read more from Steve Cropley on that here.