RAC Cars News


Diesel Cars To Pay For Extra Pollution

By raccars Published

Image Source

Drivers of diesel powered cars will be distinctly unamused to hear about London Mayor, Boris Johnson's proposed new scheme, to charge them an extra £10 to enter the capital. The plan is being drawn up to tackle pollution in urban areas and would apply to diesel cars and older petrol models.

Added to the existing congestion charge, owners of the relevant cars would face paying more than £20 per day to drive their vehicles within London's low emissions zone, given the current Congestion Charge of £11.50. There is also talk of expanding the programme nationwide, should it be deemed a success in London. The Mayor is hoping to have the system in place by 2020. The limits of the so called low emissions zone will match those to which the Congestion Charge applies and affected vehicles include all diesel cars, except those meeting the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, plus all petrol cars from 2006 and earlier.

London, Leeds and Birmingham are in danger of air pollution reaching dangerous levels for the next 20 or so years unless steps are taken to reduce emissions, leading Boris Johnson to draft the new legislation and to push the government to increase road tax for diesel cars, to encourage consumers to buy cleaner vehicles.

The Labour party's plans for government include creating a network of low emissions zones countrywide, that would affect the drivers of older diesel models in a number of major cities, such as Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leicester and Sheffield, plus 15 others.

Meanwhile, new research suggests that using the air conditioning reduces fuel economy in hybrid cars more than in diesel and petrol models. Emissions Analytics has conducted research, showing that a hybrid driven with the air conditioning on, achieves 6.1% fewer mpg than petrol and diesel vehicles, where fuel economy is reduced by only 3.8% and 4.6%, respectively. The figures are even worse for hybrids on an urban cycle, where efficiency decreases by up to 10%, compared to only 2.8% for motorway driving.

Petrol cars coped with the added burden of air conditioning better than other cars in the tests, which were conducted in the USA in a hot climate, but the results are still relevant for British motorists. Emissions Analytics has cautioned drivers not to rely too heavily upon manufacturer published mpg statistics, as they rarely reflect the vagaries of real life usage, including air conditioning.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars