In response to mounting media and governmental debate around the future of diesel-powered cars, JLR commissioned a study of public knowledge and attitudes on the fuel. It concluded that the car-buying public didn’t know the facts about latest generation diesel engines or wider issues around pollution.
“Half of car drivers think that road transport is most responsible for urban pollution. That is not true,” said Hicks. “For example, commercial and household properties produce more than half of the particulates polluting our cities.
“More than half of drivers don’t know what Euro 6 standards means. Almost a third don’t know whether the Co2 emissions we want to curb should be attributed to petrol or diesel engines. It is the same when it comes to Nox.”
Hicks said that buyers choosing between petrol and diesel cars had to understand the impact of their decisions: “You can choose diesel to help fight global warming or petrol for better air quality. The government encouraged it [diesel]... to ensure the automotive industry played its part in preventing global warming. It is why we have cut tailpipe emissions by 32% in the last decade.”
Hicks also argued that headlines and arguments that “demonize diesel” “do not actually address the problem we are trying to solve, highlighting the fact that the Euro 6 compliant engines that are sold in all new cars today are substantially cleaner than previous iterations.