13th Mar, 2015
If you’re buying a new car, you will have to decide between diesel and petrol – but with confusing and contradictory advice, which one is the better choice?
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have recently launched a campaign opposing the ‘demonisation’ of diesel.
Alongside SMMT, BMW, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover are all backing the campaign.
Over the last 20 years, diesel car sales have increased dramatically. According to The Guardian, in 1994 just 7.4% of cars in the UK were diesel, but by 2013 it had increased to 34.5%. Incentives such as lower taxes for diesel cars were introduced, as they typically produce less CO2 than petrol engines, which is a significant contributor towards global warming.
However, diesel engines produce higher levels of nitrous oxides (NOx), a harmful air pollutant which can exacerbate asthma symptoms and reduce lung function. An increase in harmful air pollution above EU safety levels in many UK cities has resulted in recent efforts to discourage motorists from choosing diesel cars. In December, the Mayor of Paris called for diesel cars to be banned in the city by 2020.
The SMMT campaign highlights that over the last two decades, diesel cars have had to meet stricter European emission standards which drastically reduce NOx pollutants; in 1992, the max NOx for a diesel engine was 780mg/km compared to 490mg/km for petrol engines. In September 2015, it will become just 80mg/km for diesel and 60mg/km for petrol.
But according to a YouGov poll, 87% of adults in the UK are unaware of this development, blaming cars as the single greatest cause of air pollution, overlooking bigger contributors such as power stations.
Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive of SMMT stated: ‘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’.
Gavin Thompson from the Healthy Air Campaign disagrees, and said: ‘We need action from all levels of government to protect our health and substantially reduce the diesel in our towns and cities.
This should include government supported retrofit schemes, a national network of low emission zones and support for other modes of travel’.
Whether you choose petrol or diesel, there is a clear environmental benefit in choosing a newer car, which is likely to produce far less harmful pollutants than older models. If you want to upgrade to a more environmentally friendly car, make sure that your old car is dealt with responsibly and ethically, to ensure the minimum environmental impact.
Scrap Car Network is operated by expert recyclers, and will ensure that up to a 100% recycle or reuse rate is achieved for your car, so it won’t end up in landfill. We will collect your old car for free wherever you are in the UK, sourcing a local collection partner to ensure that carbon emissions are kept to a minimum. What’s more, our services help to sustain the Recycling Lives charity; so when it comes to thinking ‘scrap my car‘, we are the ethical choice. Enter your reg number at www.scrapcarnetwork.org and receive a quick quote and a great price.
To read more about the story, go to https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31823252