Vehicle data expert cap hpi is warning that a clampdown on diesel vehicles could result in the UK missing European environmental targets.
Experts from the company, who have authored a new report which looks at the recent issues around diesel, say there is a real danger that the EU’s 2021 environmental targets could be missed if the percentage of diesel vehicles continues to decline on UK roads.
The report points out that some of the environmental criticism of diesel vehicles is misguided.
All the countries in the report achieved the 2015 CO2 emission target for cars registered in that year. While France and Italy were comfortably below the 130g/km line, the UK is closer, and Germany only cleared the hurdle by 1.4g/km.
Matt Freeman, managing consultant at cap hpi and the report’s author, commented that without continuing sales of diesel engine cars, this target reduction is unachievable: “Hitting the 2021 environmental targets for CO2 reduction would be a significant challenge without the likely decline in diesel. Therefore it is imperative that diesels continue to command a substantial share of the new car marketplace.
“If consumers, with no option of transitioning to hybrid or EVs, switch to petrol the environmental impact is clear – their CO2 emissions would likely rise between 3% and 23% according to model.”
cap hpi predicts that even if consumers decided to change over wholesale to electric cars in the next few years, there is not sufficient manufacturing capacity in place for this to happen.
Furthermore, there is not enough battery production capacity, although manufacturers are investing to address the gap. Diesel engines remain a powertrain option and innovations which ensure they continue to offer high fuel economy, low CO2 and improvements to other emissions will be key.
The report argues consumer education is key as there is an apparent risk that consumers are being led to believe that ‘all diesel is bad’ and that any suggestion that there is a good diesel option is due to the automotive industry seeking to resist change and preserve the status quo. This level of miscommunication needs to be countered if diesel is to have a short- to medium-term future.