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.
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”.