How modern diesel engines benefit air pollution targets

How modern diesel engines benefit air pollution targets
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New diesel cars could help cities to meet their air pollution targets, according to the head of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

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Diesel vehicles have been getting a bad press since the ‘dieselgate’ scandal, with sales dropping not only in the UK but also across many European countries. Add to this the push towards electric propulsion and diesels, which accounted for almost 40 per cent of the UK market in 2017 but are set to account for just 15 per cent by 2025.

Newer is cleaner

According to the ACEA, newer diesels are much cleaner and put out levels of nitrogen oxide well below those stipulated in the new real driving emissions test (RDE) that came into force last year. Rather than the old tests, which were carried out under laboratory conditions, the RDE tests pollutant levels produced while cars are being driven in a range of real-world conditions. This helps to ensure that the levels cars produce in use are in line with those recorded in testing.

It is also a fact that the latest diesel technology is much cleaner. According to ADAC – the German equivalent of the RAC – a modern diesel generates around 85 per cent less nitrogen oxide than its 2014 equivalent. Levels of other pollutants, such carbon dioxide, are also lower.

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Older stock

A switch to modern models could therefore help municipalities to meet their emissions targets. The problem for motor dealers is that older vehicles that don’t meet the latest standards could end up being banned from some areas and therefore become hard to sell. While
motor trade insurance from brokers such as covers you for any vehicle, you don’t want to be left with stock that needs to be heavily discounted or perhaps won’t sell at all.

As fleets renew their older cars, there is likely to be a glut of older models on the market chasing a smaller number of buyers. It is also the case that many private buyers will have been put off by the demonisation of diesel and the worry that they may be stuck with an outdated ‘dirty’ model that is hard to dispose of.

If governments are serious about addressing the pollution issue, they may need to look at introducing scrappage schemes to encourage people to move to cleaner options.

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