Air quality and climate change are two of the biggest issues facing our society now and in the future. They are issues that the motor industry takes very seriously and car manufacturers are extremely dedicated to producing their cleanest ever vehicles. They are investing billions toward developing new and innovative technologies to improve our air quality and drive down emission levels.
2016 saw a record number of new diesel cars being registered in the UK and is a trend that seems to be continuing through 2017.
During March 2017, more consumers and businesses decided to buy a new diesel car than in any other month in history, an astonishing fact. In numbers that was over 250,000 vehicles. So, why are diesel cars so popular? Why are they being given a hard time from some parties as some manufacturers look towards an alternative fuel future?
We have decided to look at the important role diesel cars can actually play in helping improve air quality in towns and cities, and in tackling climate change...
20% lower CO2
Diesel cars actually emit, on average, 20% lower CO2 than petrol equivalents so they are critical to reducing CO2 emissions, which in turn is tackling climate change. In fact, since 2002, diesel cars have saved approximately millions of tonnes of CO2 from going into the atmosphere.
Low fuel consumption
Almost one in every two new cars registered in the UK is a diesel. Buyers are valuing diesel cars high performance and low fuel consumption. On average, diesels use 20% less fuel than like for like petrol models, and with diesel drivers typically covering 60% more miles, lower fuel bills are essential.
96% of commercial vehicles are diesel powered
96% of the UK's commercial vehicles are actually powered by diesel. They transport essential goods,people and our emergency services all over our country.
Advanced diesel technology has virtually eliminated particulate matter emissions with 99% of these soot particulates captured by special filters fitted to all new diesel cars (since 2011).
Cleanest diesel vehicles in history
The latest Euro 6/VI vehicles are the cleanest in history. They are miles apart from their older counterparts. They feature clever technology that converts most of the NOx from the engine into harmless nitrogen and water before it reaches the exhaust. Euro 6/VI technology works very effectively. The latest Euro 6 cars are classed as low emission for the purposes of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone due to come into force in 2019 - this means that drivers of these vehicles will be free to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone.
Diesel vehicles are not the main source of NOx
Contrary to some recent reports, diesel cars are certainly not the main source of urban NOx. It is true that road transport (as a whole) is responsible for around half of London’s NOx, diesel cars produce around 11% of it on average through the day. It is also true that by keeping traffic moving, you can keep emissions low.
In September 2017 a new official EU-wide emissions testing system will come into force in the UK. For the first time this will include on-road testing that should better reflect the variable conditions that are involved in ‘real-world’ driving. The EU have said that this will be the world’s toughest-ever emissions testing standard.
Get free access to London's Ultra Low Emission Zone
The latest Euro 6 cars are classed as low emission for the purposes of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone due to come into force in 2019, meaning drivers of these vehicles will be free to enter the zone without charge.