Government of the united KINGDOM: the diesel cars are still important in order to meet emissions targets

Sales of new diesel engines have a future in the united KINGDOM, a government minister has said, despite concerns that frugal oilburning engines will be banned after 2040.

“There is a place for the diesel, the” business secretary Greg Clark told the FT Future of the Car Summit in 2018. “Town centres are a flash point. The conduct of the diesel over a long distance is another question.”

The government is currently working on a sheet of white paper, dubbed the “Road to Zero”, which will present a policy framework to manage emissions from road transport towards zero by 2035/40.

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This suggests that diesels are not totally out of favour within the government, Clark has highlighted the latest diesel technology as having a role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The new generation of diesel can make a big contribution to emissions reduction,” he said.

Leaks of the draft of the Road to Zero paper have suggested draconian policies that could ban the sale of new plug-in hybrid if they don’t have enough electric only range to hit a possible legal target for at least 50 mile range electric by 2040.

“There will be more details on diesel and electric vehicles in our next publication,” Clark added.

The content of this white paper is understood to be contested by at least three departments – business, the environment and transport.

Of the environment, under Michael Gove, we can expect to be resolutely anti-diesel, while the transportation has made the anti-diesel comments. Chris Grayling, for example, even suggested that car buyers should “think twice about buying a diesel”.

It now appears business is coming out in favor of diesel, subject to the limitations of use – for example diesel bans in high-pollution hotspots.

However, Clark said that the white paper may well call time on older, less clean diesel, even if he fell short to announce a scrappage scheme.

“It would be a mistake for people to hang on to an old diesel,” he says.

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