Having read two headlines in the media in the last few weeks in relation to other Countries and their approach to Diesel Cars on the road, then I am starting to wonder whether our Government’s approach to Diesel Cars is overly negative and perhaps its crusade to remove them, or at least tax them in order to make them less desirable is misplaced and perhaps more about revenue generation than our health. I also feel that its potentially damaging to our economy, and carries with it a huge threat in relation to unemployment, and I will discuss that aspect later.
The first headline I read, was that Northern Ireland, has not been carrying out MOT smoke tests on Diesel Cars for over a decade, and this is despite the UK, changing its MOT Rules in May 2018, with a change to the smoke test limits and no doubt these changes were made with the sole intention of making it a lot harder to get a Diesel car through its annual MOT, with the intention getting older, smokier cars off our roads, so why aren’t our closest neighbours doing the same?, and where is the outcry at this latest news?, no fines? no big EU penalties?.
The Second Headline (30th May 2018) was in relation to VW doubling its Diesel Car sales in Germany during 2018. First of all, isn’t the whole anti-diesel campaign and the talk of enforcing minimum emissions level targets entirely spearheaded by the EU?, in which case why is the UK in the process of killing off diesel car sales, when one of the Stalwarts of the EU – Germany, seems to be embracing and encouraging them?. Certainly 2018 was a great year for Diesel Car sales in Germany for VW, whilst at the same time the UK lost a commensurate number of new Diesel Car sales, and a lot of them affecting UK car manufacturers as our Government continues its crusade. How refreshing to see Germany embracing its car manufacturing, and not allowing policy to negatively affect its car manufacturing industry.
These two headlines alone, make me wonder why the UK, being a relatively small island on the planet, appears to be the martyr when it comes to the Global problem of pollution, not least it appears that our Government has a much different agenda to those in Northern Ireland and Germany where killing off new diesel car sales and worrying about diesel pollution seems to be secondary where the economy is concerned.
Whilst it is true that at lot of European Countries are banning or restricting Diesel Cars from their most polluted Cities, there doesn’t seem to be the same urge to tax them as there is in the UK, and its fair to say that the price of Diesel Fuel in most Countries in Europe, is cheaper than the price of a litre of Petrol, unlike the UK which seems to be one of the few where Diesel at the pumps is more expensive than petrol, and that gap is growing on an annual basis. Our Government certainly seems to have a more aggressive Anti-Diesel agenda than most other Countries.
The price of Fuel also got me thinking about the much wider picture, for example how do Countries where fuel is literally pennies per Litre, like Venezuela, Egypt, Saudi Arabia & Algeria manage with pollution levels?. Yes, fuel is cheap because these are oil rich Countries sitting on massive reserves, but having copious amounts of oil which translate into fuel which is cheaper than water, doesn’t except them from the Pollution issues created when their fuel is burned. How are these Countries managing CO2 Levels and Diesel Smoke Problems?, certainly they are not taxing the fuel that their cars are using and there doesn’t seem to be a larger than average number of premature deaths as a result of having cheap fuel and little if any restrictions on using it. Perhaps these Countries don’t have an issue with pollution and environmental concerns are they are not overpopulated!.
Finally back to the UK and the point I made about Jobs and potential unemployment. Here we still have several very large diesel engine manufacturing plants, who make Diesel Engines, and between them they employ 10,000’s of people. If you also take into consideration the additional jobs employed in their UK supply chain then that figure increases, alarmingly. What do you think will happen to all of those Jobs as the Government continue to drive people away from buying Diesel Cars? and continues to crusade to rid the country of Diesel vehicles?. What kind of Government introduces a policy which will essentially encourage and eventually create widespread unemployment by killing off one of the few remaining manufacturing industries?.
It isn’t like we have a thriving market mining lithium, making Electric Car Motors, Batteries and Parts to employ those who lose their jobs from the Diesel Plants being forcibly driven out of business, in fact do we make any Electric Car or Hybrid parts in the UK?, I can’t recall any manufacturers.
Already Jaguar Landrover are citing falling sales and potential job losses down to the UK Governments decision to drive people away from Diesel, how long before these major plants start shedding jobs?, how long before they close?.
So, are the UK Government being unnecessarily harsh when it comes to their attitudes to Diesel cars and does it require a U-Turn?, after all, thanks to the inclusion DPF’s and SCR Adblue based systems, Diesel Cars are now cleaner than an Angels’ Fart, and still produce less CO2 than even the newest Petrol engines. What are your thoughts? Discuss in the comments below!.