The government’s announcement that diesel and petrol cars will be banned in Britain from 2040, as a way of tackling air pollution, has led to widespread confusion amongst drivers.
Common concerns include the impact on residual values of used diesel and petrol cars; the relatively high cost of new electric cars; whether hybrid cars will still be available; and how the industry and infrastructure will cope.
We try to tackle these concerns, and more, based on the limited information currently available.
Why ban petrol and diesel cars?
Mercedes has announced a recall of three million diesel cars worldwide. And Audi said it will carry out repairs to nearly a million of its diesel models. The moves come as the German car makers scramble to reduce levels of harmful toxic emissions and restore drivers’ faith in diesel engines.
In 2015, the Volkswagen Group confessed to cheating at US environmental tests. It has subsequently been forced to carry out fixes to around 11m cars worldwide.
Yesterday the European Commission confirmed that it is conducting an investigation into German car makers over allegations of a cartel that colluded over technology.
With one bad news story after another, here’s what drivers need to know about the latest Mercedes recall.
As London brings forward the introduction date of its new Ultra Low Emission Zone and the government prepares to unveil “toxin taxes” on diesel cars driving into cities across England, rumours persist of a diesel scrappage scheme for motorists.
Up to 35 cities across England could introduce charges aimed at reducing pollution from diesel-powered vehicles, following the lead set by London. The move is an attempt to address chronic air pollution in parts of the UK, which is said to contribute to the deaths of up to 40,000 people a year.
Now politicians, industry representatives and driver groups are calling for a UK scrappage scheme, to help drivers replace the oldest and most polluting diesel cars.
The last scrappage scheme, in 2009, helped breathe life back into a flagging car industry, by giving £2000 in return for any car over 10-years old that was part-exchanged for a new vehicle. Could a similar incentive help replace the oldest diesel-powered cars?
Air pollution means cars with high emissions could be prevented from entering Paris or Lyon
As millions of Britons make plans for their Easter or summer holidays, travellers driving to France must ensure that their car has an emissions sticker when visiting Paris or Lyon – the two largest cities in France.
The sticker system has been introduced to help tackle air pollution in city environments, and is active in Grenoble, as well. Other French cities are likely to join the scheme.
Called Crit’Air, it effectively bans old cars from city centres during weekdays and will allow authorities to restrict which cars are permitted to enter cities.
Recharging an electric car like the Nissan Leaf will cost a minimum of £5 at motorway service stations (Picture © Nissan)
British drivers who choose electric cars or plug-in hybrid models to save money while doing their bit to help the UK combat climate change have been hit with shocking news, after the main provider of motorway charging points for electric cars announced it will introduce a £5 fee for a 20-minute rapid charge.
The decision was taken by Ecotricity, a Gloucestershire-based company that until recently was the sole provider of charging points for electric cars at Britain’s motorway service stations.
It’s not easy being a driver who wants to do their bit and buy a car with the lowest nitrogen oxide emissions. These NOx are harmful pollutants emitted by cars that are estimated to contribute to over 30,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. Information about a car’s NOx levels has been hard to come by as, for obvious reasons, vehicle manufacturers tend to advertise cars’ fuel economy or performance rather than the nasty particulates pumped out of exhausts.
But now a new website allows drivers to see just how polluting Britain’s most popular makes and model of car are when used in normal, everyday driving conditions.