Chris Grayling U-turns on previous comments by stating that diesel is still relevant for many motorists

Buying a diesel car can still be the right choice for motorists and the environment, according to transport secretary Chris Grayling.

Speaking at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Summit, Grayling (below) added that the Government’s view is that diesel “can play a valuable role in reducing CO2 emissions”.

“It is very important that people buy the right vehicle for their circumstances and that they think about that carefully,” he said. “In this transition period to electrification, diesel still has a role.” Grayling had previously been quoted as saying that motorists should “think twice” about buying a diesel.

European commissioner: 'Diesel cars are finished'

His comments support those made by business secretary Greg Clark earlier this year. Clark said: “There’s a place for diesel vehicles and there will be for some time to come.”

Both Grayling and Clark's comments stand in contrast to previous statements from the Government regarding diesel, most notably from environment secretary Michael Gove, whose criticisms of diesel last year preceded the collapse in diesel sales in the UK.

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Grayling’s comments come ahead of the much-anticipated launch of the Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ paper later this year. The paper is expected to outline the path to having only zero-emissions cars on sale from 2040.

Leaked information has already suggested that the Government is considering allowing hybrid cars to be sold as long as they have a minimum zero-emissions capability of around 40 miles. Car makers reacted to that news angrily, saying that the Government should set targets and allow them to find the technologies that best deliver them, while critics have said that the plan does not go far enough. UK mayors, including London’s Sadiq Khan, have already started negotiations to push forward a ban on combustion-engined cars to 2030.

In a move hailed by industry executives, Grayling confirmed today: “We have no plans to ban any specific technology. We believe we should be technology neutral.”

BMW’s special representative to the UK, Ian Robertson, added: “The Government recognises the importance of the sector and how quickly we can react with technology. What’s important is that we are all heading in the same direction. There is no certainty in what technology will win — and there are issues of infrastructure, affordability and consumer demand.

“What we don’t need is a set of prescriptive rules in the road to zero emissions. Having vehicles capable of completing a majority of their journeys on electricity is achievable; the average journey is around 20 miles and already we have plug-in hybrids capable of 40 miles of EV range.

“The target is achievable. But the way we achieve it should be left open.”

Read more 

UK Government: diesel cars remain important to meet emissions targets

UK mayors to call for 2030 petrol and diesel car ban

European commissioner: 'Diesel cars are finished'

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Comments
12

26 June 2018

I hope the Government's forthcoming paper, Road to Zero, covers how we are going to generate the extra energy needed for electric cars and perhaps even more critically, how that energy is delivered to homes. As for motor manufacturers reacting angrily to the proposect of new rules, is anyone surprised? Rules, if carefully constructed, can help drive new technologies forward.

27 June 2018

The National Grid FES (Future Energy Scenarios) address your concerns. 

Only this week U.K. Power Networks outlined their plan to provide a VPS(virtue power station) in the London Borough of Barnet. Utilising solar energy and battery storage they will provide an energy source that is presently lost. Replicated across the country these VPS installations and other micro grid solutions, all identified by National Grid, will transform energy distribution in  coming years. 

Most electric journeys will continue to be for short distances, as they are in ICE vehicles, and therefore the energy demand, mostly via 13amp outlets in homes, or higher rate at offices and workplaces, for most users for the foreseeable future will be for just a few hours. How often do most people fill up their cars with diesel/petrol today ? EV owners will mostly top up in the evening when demand is low. Wouldn’t ICE owners love to be able to leave home every morning with a full tank as easily and conveniently as the EV owner. 

26 June 2018

Of course he said that to the SMMT - Mike Hawes & Co have diesel cars to sell.

If Grayling was addressing a renewable energy forum, he'd say anti-diesel - or at least that's the impression his government are giving. Perhaps he missed the chancellors announcement at last year's budget?

CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond has announced his 2017 Budget where he unveiled a tax hike of up to £500 to buy a new diesel car from next spring under the Chancellor’s plan to slash pollution.

The bloke's a politician and there aren't many of them with morals. Apart from Boris - I'm sure he'd have loved to exercise his election pledge and vote against a 3rd runway but unfortunately was out of the country. He's probably the only person on the planet who sought safety in Afghanistan. 

26 June 2018
Refining fuel takes up a vast amount of electricity which will be left spare if we transition to zero emissions vehicles.

Also EVs are recharged at home on a timer to take advantage of the cheapest electricity. Even then they will only replenish the power used, typically less than 30 miles worth.

27 June 2018
NotHandMade wrote:

Refining fuel takes up a vast amount of electricity which will be left spare if we transition to zero emissions vehicles. Also EVs are recharged at home on a timer to take advantage of the cheapest electricity. Even then they will only replenish the power used, typically less than 30 miles worth.

You mean low emissions vehicles - zero emissions vehicles are currently impossible and probably will be for decades.

XXXX just went POP.

27 June 2018

Here we go again with polly speak.

I watched a line of modern day vehicles in a 50metre length of road stop and start at least 3 times due to a pedestrian crossing.It was about a 50/50 break down of diesel and petrol and I am positive that the lack of emission from the exhausts for 5minutes made the Amazon rain forests grow an extra 30%.The reason I know is that a little pixie at the bottom of my garden told me and said that on the pixie social media platform,PIXIELATED,even the EU Brussels(sprouts) were elated.

I have also read a report that the evangelists want to cull the Australia animal stock,sheep and cattle by 30million head to reduce the emission of methane when they POP OFF. 

Oh dear.

garage man

27 June 2018
Gargae Man wrote:

Here we go again with polly speak.

I watched a line of modern day vehicles in a 50metre length of road stop and start at least 3 times due to a pedestrian crossing.It was about a 50/50 break down of diesel and petrol and I am positive that the lack of emission from the exhausts for 5minutes made the Amazon rain forests grow an extra 30%.The reason I know is that a little pixie at the bottom of my garden told me and said that on the pixie social media platform,PIXIELATED,even the EU Brussels(sprouts) were elated.

I have also read a report that the evangelists want to cull the Australia animal stock,sheep and cattle by 30million head to reduce the emission of methane when they POP OFF. 

Oh dear.

Cant understand your sarcasm - farming animals for meat produces far much CO2 than transport (and takes 5 times more energy than growing plants) its a serious problem and needs to be looked at.

XXXX just went POP.

27 June 2018
No wonder the motor industry and public are a bit giddy with all this. Mind you, Grayling's credibility rating is near zero of late so although what he says is right (on this occasion), nobody will pay a blind bit of notice.

27 June 2018

For high mileage motorway users there is still not a viable alternative to diesel not at least until on electric vehicles they delvelop batteries that hold a longer distance travelled or an ultra quick charging time.

Used Porsche diesels for example have shot up in value since they decided to stop building them with many Porsche owners that drive a lot of motorway miles stating that there is still no aleternative to a diesel, the Hybrid versions only really work around town but on the motorway you are in petrol mode averaging 20 mpg, this is not great for CO2 or the costs of refueling the vehicle.

I am hoping that this Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology moves forward as driving an electric car I beleive is only a temporary fix and not the answer for the future.

27 June 2018

It needs balance. Diesel and all it's blind supporters shot themselves in the foot with the idea it could suit 50% and more of the market.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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