When diesel vehicles were first introduced they were hailed as the answer to the rising levels of greenhouse emmissions from cars; we were told that they would produce less CO2 than petrol fuelled cars. Now it’s common knowledge that diesel vehicles actually produce more CO2. Furthermore, they produce tonnes of other pollutants such as NOx and particulates that have been linked with countless deaths.
After the likes of the Volkswagen scandal, which showed that far more pollutants were emmitted from diesel vehicles on the road than in the lab, the government is eager to close down on this environmental menace.
Are diesel vehicles banned anywhere outside of the UK?
With diesel cars being held responsible for over 70% of NOx pollution, it is suprising that action is not being taken urgently to remove these vehicles from the roads.There are very few cities with diesel vehicle bans so far, but many cities are making plans to ban these vehicles in the near future.
Some of the first steps are currently being taken in Germany. In Stuttgard and Düsseldorf, courts have ruled that older diesel vehicles will be banned from city centres.
In Paris, all cars made prior to 1997 are banned in the city center on weekdays.
The mayor of Paris also has plans to limit some streets to electric cars by 2020.
When will diesel vehicles be banned?
Plans have already been confirmed by the UK government to ban all diesel vehicles by 2040, with the aim to get all diesel vehicles off the roads by 2050.
However, the government has recently been urged to move the ban forward 10 years.
The environmental thinktank, Green Alliance, argues that introducing the ban in 2030 rather than 2040 would do wonders for the environment.
On top of the environmental benefits, they argue that having an earlier ban date would reduce oil imports, saving an estimated 6.5 Billion per year for the UK.
Although the picture is blurred, if the government yield to this suggestion it may mean that we need rethink our plans: we may need to think about exchanging vehicles sooner than we thought before.