Headlines in the press concerning diesel-powered cars, even those fitted with a DPF filter, are making it a tough time for the motor trade, but according to some experts, this is being fuelled by misinformation.
According to some experts, diesel is facing ‘unnecessary demonisation’ in reports by non-specialist news titles, which is affecting public opinion and driving legislation. , for one, believes that the industry needs to sell the idea of the efficiency of new Euro 6-compliant engines, and the fact that diesel fuels achieve up to 30 per cent better economy than petrol, along with lower emissions. They believe there is still a strong case for diesel engines and that this misinformation, which is causing a decline in take-up of them, may actually be harming our goal of reducing CO2 emissions.
Talking to chairman and managing director of Ford of Britain, who is also the vice-president of The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), Andy Barratt, Motor Trader was keen to get his point of view on the so called ‘diesel backlash’.
He believes that despite hitting CO2 targets, people are confused about diesel, and this will only be made worse by the government’s Road to Zero plan – their scheme to lead the world in zero emission vehicles.
“If you do any degree of motorway mileage, forget hybrid, it’ll be less efficient and more damaging. If it’s a long journey on the motorway, diesel is the best solution. If you are moving any goods or services, diesel is the only option. There is a real paranoia around diesel, which is a challenge,” he says.
With diesel car registrations falling by more than a quarter in the last month, re-educating the consumer is high on the agenda for this trade body.
This month, the government confirmed their strategy for their Road to Zero scheme, outlining their ambition for the UK to become the best place in the world to not only own an electric car, but also for manufacturers to build them.
The strategy is aiming for at least 50 per cent, and possibly up to 70 per cent, of new car sales to be ultra low emission by 2030, supported by government spending on infrastructure to ensure that electric cars are an attractive choice for consumers.
By 2040, the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in the conventional sense will also put to an end.
By 2050, this industry is estimated to be worth £7.6 trillion, and the UK government is hoping to position itself at the forefront of this as leaders in the field.
Technology involved in the strategy includes share points to be built into appropriate new housing, as well as new lamp posts to create a expansive charging grid, as well as rolling out more of existing charging points. £40 million will also be spent on on-road charging and wireless charging system trialling, to help further develop this technology.