The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have launched a nationwide consumer campaign today to set the record straight on the increasing demonisation of diesel.
The SMMT have said it fears that, if uncorrected, it could limit adoption of the latest low emission vehicles and undermine the UK's efforts to meet strict air quality and climate change obligations.
Responding to a YouGov poll, 87 per cent of UK adults said they were unaware of the latest Euro-6 vehicle emission technology, while 54 per cent incorrectly blamed cars and commercial vehicles as the biggest cause of air pollution in the UK. Less than one in five of people surveyed correctly identified power stations as the biggest contributors of nitrogen oxides (NOx). In fact, it would take 42 million Euro-6 diesel cars (almost four times the number on the roads) to generate the same amount of NOx as one UK coal-fired power station.
Today, SMMT together with some of the biggest car makers will make a unified stand and put the record straight on diesel cars. The SMMT will also urge policy makers and those considering imposing local measures to avoid confusing motorists by penalising one fuel technology over another.
SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: "Today's diesel engines are the cleanest ever, and the culmination of billions of pounds of investment by manufacturers to improve air quality. Bans and parking taxes on diesel vehicles therefore make no sense from an environmental point of view. We need to avoid penalising one vehicle technology over another and instead encourage the uptake of the latest low emission vehicles by consumers. The allegations against diesel cars made in recent months threaten to misguide policy making and undermine public confidence in diesel. It's time to put the record straight."
Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director, said, "We support customer choice and the market should determine the best technologies for meeting CO2 and air quality goals. Ford is committed to offering clean and efficient petrol and diesel engines, as well as the choice of electrified options. In terms of diesel, it is important to underline that today's and tomorrow's advanced diesel powertrains are vastly cleaner than in the past and are approaching parity with petrol engines when it comes to emissions that affect air quality, while at the same time delivering important CO2 benefits."
Consumers can get all the facts on the latest diesel cars via an online diesel myth-busting guide available at www.dieselfacts.co.uk and a fact sheet available from dealers and via manufacturer websites.
by: Becca Chaplin