The UK government is considering a full-scale scrapping of diesel-powered vehicles as part of its plan to lower emissions and improve the country’s air quality, according to reports.
Fleetnews.co.uk writes that the Department for Transport and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are building a scheme to offer cashback or discounts on low-emissions cars when trading in older, more polluting vehicles according to The Telegraph.
Treasury talks have taken place which could finance the plan, while officials are developing a plan which could focus on geographical areas around Britain where pollution is at its worst, as a matter of urgency.
Head of environmental and energy at Policy Exchange (a think tank which helps creat policies based on community input), Richard Howard, said the reports of the scrapping are music to the ears.
“Policy Exchange welcomes reports that the government is considering a diesel scrappage scheme,” he said.
“To have the best change of cleaning up air pollution, government should use a combination of national fiscal policies, such as a diesel scrappage, and city-level policies such as restrictions on the most polluting vehicles,” he added.
Howard said Policy Exchange has proposed a range of measures to help clean up pollution which included a scrappage as well as restrictions on heavy polluters and tighter emission standards.
“In our 2015 publication ‘Up in the Air’, we proposed that motorists should be given a scrappage grant if they choose to replace an older diesel vehicle early. We also suggested that a scrappage scheme should not be restricted to vehicles over 10 years old, since the evidence suggest that even relatively new diesel cars emit high levels of NOx,” Howard said.
RAC Foundation research analysis has found that roughly 1.9 million diesel cars (in Britain) fall into the oldest, most polluting Euro standard categories 1, 2 and 3, and account for about 17 percent of all diesels on the roads and about 15 percent of total NOx emissions, based on estimates of real world driving data from MOT records.