With so much anti-diesel propaganda in the media at the moment, often peddled by Politicians who have vested interests, its not surprising that many consumers are now qustioning whether it is still a good idea to buy a new diesel car, with talk of taxing all but the newest diesel cars on the road with annual penalties, and already London charging more to park any diesel car in the City its not surprising that people are now wondering whether diesel cars will be banned altogether.
The problem is, that nobody questions what is coming from the mouths of “Authority”. Already previous scaremongering from those quarters in the form of Global Warming, has more often than not been later debunked by the experts, and were we not all told to buy a Diesel Car back in the 1990’s because they were far cleaner than petrol engines?, advice which was given for more than two decades. Now all of a sudden that was the wrong advice, but the Politicians want to make us pay the price for listening to them in the first place, by charging a penalty in the form of a Diesel Tax. Since the first advice was clearly wrong, what is to say that this advice is any different?, and will be facing a Petrol Tax or Electric Car tax in the future?, and so the circle continues.
Let’s look at some of the reasons given for banning diesel cars, and potentially introducing a diesel car tax!. I will also give an explaination as to why each of these reasons are complete rubbish.
Diesel Cars Are Damaging to Health
There is some truth in the fact that older diesel cars emit particulates into the atmosphere, and they can be breathed in by cyclists and pedestrians, however how much exposure somebody needs for these diesel particulates to become harmful is not clear, (and its also a figure that the Politicians are conveniently not promoting). Certainly there are people who have worked around diesel fumes and been exposed to these allegedly harmful diesel particulates for all of their working lives, HGV Drivers and Mechanics, are two examples of occupations where hundreds of people have been exposed to diesel particulates for decades, often in confined spaces. I cannot find any proof that members of this industry are any more likely to contract diseases associated with diesel particulates and certainly nobody has highlighted that they are dropping like flies. If this was the case, you would think that the claim companies would be all over it by now, just like Asbestos based diseases. But they aren’t are they?.
Older Diesel Cars are more polluting
In some cases yes, however let’s examine a few facts that you will never see mentioned by officialdom. First all all, older diesel cars, didn’t have any emissions control units fitted to their exhaust systems (which also made them far more reliable!), this meant that the particulates in the soot were far larger than they are now, and they couldn’t infiltrate the lungs and be absorbed into human body tissue like the much finer soot particle pollutants are alleged to do now!. In short the problem which we have today, is entirely down to the constant compaigning of the Tree Huggers to reduce pollution, so the quest to make cars more environmentally friendly, has actually resulted in a situation where the emissions may have been reduced but the exhaust fumes have also become more harmful. Either way, since 2010 all Diesel Cars have been fitted with the subject of this blog – Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF’s) which basically undoes the damage which the Green Brigade have done by making the particulates finer, and made cars ‘safer’ again, at considerable expense of the owners, I may add due to the fact that DPF’s are notoriously unreliable.
In hindsite, if Diesel Cars had not have been made more “environmentally friendly”, they probably would still have a black soot smear up the back of the vehicle where the exhaust is, but they wouldn’t have become harmful to health!. But this is what happens when you let Tree Huggers design cars, instead of engineers!.
Petrol Cars are less polluting than Diesel Cars
Only according to the Government, who probably have some kind of vested interest into moving us all over from Diesel cars to Petrol ones. The whole reason why the Government originally told us to buy Diesel Cars twenty years ago, was because of the CO2 emissions compared to Diesel engines, a fact which still remains today – Petrols produce more CO2 than the equiv Diesel engine. In addition, an independant EMPA report reported in Science Daily in May 2017, found that some modern direct injection petrol engines were far more harmful than even older, pre-dpf diesel cars!. The report gave an example, where an EU6 Petrol actually produced far more of the alleged damaging particulates than an older EU5 Diesel Car. The report also highlights the damaging benzo(a)pyrene which Petrol Cars produce, which is known as a “Smokers Killer” due to being a proven carcinogenic substance. Most Petrol Engines emit 1,700 times for “safe” limit, so perhaps we are looking to ban the wrong fuel, or perhaps the Government will just ‘discover’ these facts at a later date and use it as an excuse to tax us, once we are all driving Petrol Cars!.
Diesel Cars are Causing High Levels of Pollution in Cities like London
Again, yet another statement that only seems to be levied at the feet of Diesel Car owners!. Has anybody stopped to consider the damage and pollution caused by thousands of woodburning stoves?. In fact two independant studies conducted by Kings College London and the University of Southampton found that between 2011 and 2016, Air Pollution in London caused by Woodburners rose by over 40%, which, during the Winter of 2015 took smog levels in the City close to those last experienced in 1952, when Smog caused by industry and coal fires claimed 12,000 lives. In fact owning a Wood Burner in the City, in the many boroughs is a breach of the Clean Air act, resulting in homeowners being fined £1000, yet I cannot find one instance of a fine and even the Councils admit that they are reluctant to police it!. Why?, if it is just as damaging to health as Diesel Cars in the city?, or are the motorists just an easy cash cow, given their details are already in “the system”??.
It is also worth noting, that dirty, polluted London is about to get another runway added to its Airport, which will put hundreds of more planes flying over the heads of Londoners in the City, creating Jet Fuel Fumes which is also a proven carcinogenic. This additional runway was backed by London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, who himself is anti car and notably Anti Diesel. How can one form of pollution by frowned upon and taxed out of existance in the form of increased parking charges and the rumour of a to-be-introduced diesel tax, whilst two others go unnoticed and extra air traffic is even promoted?. Surely Pollution is Pollution and where they prove to be a risk to health then they should all be treated equally?. Most people rely on their cars to get to work, and nearly 1.5 million of those cars are fuelled by Diesel, however woodburners are purely cosmetic in a City with a Gas network, and serve no functional purpose whatseover so why so lenient?.
The Future of the Diesel Car
At the time of writing this blog page, we are already into Euro 6 emissions, this means that Diesel Cars are cleaner than they have ever been, thanks to Diesel Particulate Filters, and more recently Adblue (SCR) Systems, all of which require additional care and so levy additional servicing costs onto their unfortunate owners. In fact, according to the EMPA report, diesel are still far cleaner than petrol cars of today, not only in relation to CO2 but also in respect of the number of harmful particulates emitted too. There is talk of introducing particulate filters to petrol cars from 2018, and in fact VW are already starting to do this, so perhaps there is a lot of accuracy in the EMPA report, so its probably only a matter of time now, before Petrol Cars have their reliability tarnished by the petrol version of the DPF, and a whole new set of problems begin, just like the Diesel Cars. So my advice, is that if Diesel Cars work for you, and you do the mileage and journeys commensurate with keeping the DPF in good order, then I wouldn’t worry about a looming diesel car tax, especially if you live outside of London. After all, its probably only a matter of time before the tax crosshairs get levied at cars using other fuels, or even Electricity!.