A British think tank considers that diesels are not the proper way of cleaning up the air and says that such cars should pay a lot more on road taxes, Autocar reports.
Diesel cars were once viewed as the right “tool” for lowering the environmental impact of the CO2 emissions. But the Volkswagen cheating scandal triggered a global scrutiny against this technology and recent tests revealed another side of the picture. The UK Policy Exchange think tank made a survey that shows many diesels are breaking official emissions limits, thus proposing an increase on the road tax for them up to 800 pounds (around 1,132 dollars), according to Autocar. Policy Exchange says such a move would encourage customers to buy more environmentally friendly cars and if diesels sales dropped by 50 percent, the Vehicle Excise Duty rate increase would still bring around £500 million a year in additional taxes.
“Air pollution is overwhelmingly a diesel problem,” said Richard Howard, head of environment and energy at Policy Exchange. “The CO2 advantage of diesels has now been eliminated with data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showing that, in 2013, CO2 emissions from new petrol cars were lower than those of diesel cars (on a sales-weighted basis).” The study also suggests that a diesel scrappage programme providing grants to drivers would be also helpful in making buyers choose a hybrid or an electric car instead of a diesel one.