We call for an end to diesel bashing and a look at the bigger picture.
We are calling for an end to “diesel bashing” and for a more measured response to the global issue of car pollution. Simon Hill, Director, says that many politicians, journalists and commentators have made diesel cars an easy target, without looking at how the current situation has arisen. Simon comments: “For many years diesel has offered the company and private motorist reliability, longevity and a lower cost of motoring.
Then, in the 90s, the European Union introduced a levy on car manufacturers based upon the average CO2 emissions of cars sold in the EU. It also knew about the nitrogen oxides (NOx) issue and decided to introduce emissions and NOx limits through what has become known as Euro emissions standards, so from 2004 we had the Euro 4 standard then 5 and in July 2016, Euro 6.
"The Euro 6 standard has meant that the current crop of diesel vehicles being sold in the UK is the cleanest and most environmentally friendly ever. It represents the best possible option while technology and science strive to come up with a viable alternative.”
Simon says people need to think more broadly about the environmental implications of the cars they drive and what to do until cleaner, greener options become widely available in the 2030s.
He adds: “By 2021 all major manufacturers will offer alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids or electric vehicles, and transition, with a scrappage scheme, could be complete by 2032."
Between now and then we need to deal with vehicle usage and get the dirtiest vehicles off our roads. Dirty cars are not just diesel – they include petrol and gas vehicles as well.
While doing this we don’t want to hit business growth by adding costs unnecessarily, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit."
Simon advises that there were several ways in which the problem could be tackled including scrapping diesel and petrol cars manufactured before 2004 and introducing more Low Emission Zones where only Euro 6 rated vehicles can go.
He adds: “Vehicles produced pre-2004 that are driven badly and are poorly maintained are the most significant contributor to the emissions problem.”
Simon also wants to see stricter MOT tests, an increase in fuel additive use, better regulation of taxi emission levels and action to deal with vehicles left idling with their engines running.
Simon comments: “The answer lies not in jumping on a bandwagon without knowing what the real answer is but in thinking carefully and making the right decision.
Do we really want everyone driving electric cars whose components travel half way around the world, and in the end, are fuelled by fossil fuels? No, we don’t, as this is worse for the planet.
If we don’t start being more realistic and measured in our response to diesel, we are in danger of creating a real issue.
Both the private and fleet user could face significant losses if this negativity continues – and this could seriously hurt the economy as a whole as well as damaging the planet."
Ten facts about diesel cars:
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveals why diesel cars are so popular – and explains how today’s diesels can help reduce emissions and make our environment cleaner and less polluted.
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