Party's manifesto reveals aggressive plans against diesel, despite recent concerns from manufacturers

The Liberal Democrats political party wants to ban the sale of diesel cars in Britain from 2025, despite concerns from some manufacturers that this could hamper progress.

In its manifesto, the Lib Dem party cites diesel pollution as a key contributor to the UK’s air pollution problem, which is associated with 40,000 deaths per year.

To reduce the fuel’s impact, the party says it will pass a Green Transport Act that would introduce an Air Quality plan, where the sale of diesel cars and vans would be banned and a diesel scrappage scheme would be introduced.

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However, some leading voices in the automotive industry are concerned that this type of policy could hamper progress to reducing overall emissions.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) CEO Ralf Speth has been particularly vocal on the matter, telling Autocar that the income diesel sales generate can be used to develop more advanced low-emissions technology. He said: “We have to show our [diesel] technology is the best you can buy, to reduce the damage to health and the environment."

Recent market trends show that customers are already swapping diesel for petrol, but this in itself is hampering progress in the fight to lower CO2 emissions. Some manufacturers, most recently Volvo, have responded to this by revealing that they could drop diesel engines altogether.

Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "From today's perspective, we will not develop any more new generation diesel engines”.

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Other brands such as Volkswagen are planning on removing diesel from their small car line-ups, keeping the fuel exclusively for larger models, with small-capacity petrol-electric hybrids looking set to fill the void.

In its manifesto, the Lib Dem party says it wants to increase the uptake of this type of drivetrain as well as fully electric vcars by adjusting taxation to give more breaks to low and zero-emissions vehicle drivers, while penalising higher polluters. It would back this with extended Ultra-Low Emission Zones (ULEZs) in ten more towns and cities.

Diesel taxis and buses in urban areas would be affected as well, with the Lib Dems forcing them to switch to ultra-low emissions or zero-emissions fuels by 2022. To help boost supply, the party wants to up support for the manufacturing of low-emissions and electric vehicles (EVs).

As part of its wider air pollution plans, it wants to introduce a Zero Carbon Britain Act, which would set new legally binding targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2040 and to zero by 2050. This would affect all industries and not just the automotive sector.

Diesels should be made cleaner, not scrapped

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Comments
14

17 May 2017
And what is the realistic alternative to diesel?

If we use more petrol engines then we will be releasing more MMT into the air. MMT is used as an octane booster but it is an organo-manganese neurotoxin.

The Liberal Democrats don't seem to do a technical analysis before demanding these changes. They don't know how to build a successful independent Great Britain.

17 May 2017
Lib Dem idiots have not got a clue, this very site last week reported that high compression small capacity petrol engines may be worse than euro 6 diesel.

17 May 2017
Is this the same Lib Dems that wants to legalise cannabis? Surely puffing away on spliffs is much more damaging on the lungs in the longer term?

17 May 2017
Is this the same Lib Dems that wants to legalise cannabis? Surely puffing away on spliffs is much more damaging on the lungs in the longer term?

17 May 2017
..if it's just for recreational use.

17 May 2017
If Lib Dems were to go away and look at the evidence they would find that the pollution from all types of vehicle has been made much worse by years of ill conceived traffic policies.
It's reduced speed limits, road humps and unlimited numbers of new traffic lights that is the biggest problem.
It's also dragging down UK productivity.
It appears there's some belated recognition of this fact starting to peculate through various Government departments.
There has been a recent pollution policy announcement suggesting councils might like to remove speed humps and increase traffic flow through problem areas.
Although it's more likely that this advice will be ignored, not only would it be an admission of poor judgement on the part of council's but charging will be another form of income.
So expect grid lock and even more costs to be dumped on motorists.

17 May 2017
..own diesel cars? A classic way to naff off a significant part of the electorate. The Lib Dems would get far more brownie points if they looked at this issue in a far deeper and considered manner and came up with much wiser solutions...

17 May 2017
I thought this guy was more concerned about what you put UP your exhaust pipe?
Now he seems to want to ban diesels as well as man on man love?

I always thought Liberals, stood for easy going fence sitters?
A more pointless party than an evening in with an Ann Summers rep.

18 May 2017
It is expected that by about 2022 EVs will cost less to buy - even without subsidies - than ICE cars due to the plummeting prices of batteries. At the same time the new (currently proposed) CCS standards supported by many of the main manufacturers will mean a full charge can be made in less than 10 minutes. Coal is disappearing from electricity production due to cost reasons.

There is a massive switch coming which is why most manufacturers are spending so much on EV research and products. I have my name down for a iPace and I hope it and Jaguar do well but I can't help thinking that they're too small (Jaguar in particular) to survive the switch. Here in Switzerland Ferraris 488 has the same sales as the XE this year to date. The XF isn't even doing that well.

As for Taxis, we have a local minicab firm who use Teslas already.

18 May 2017
Diesel levels hadn't got to a stupid 50% of car sales in Europe (unlike the rest of the world) then we wouldn't be having this discussion. People are turning their back on diesel anyway, especially those doing less than 12,000 miles a year so the problem will lessen over time, but as I've always said around 15% is about right, hopefully that will fall to next to nothing in longer term.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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