UK Government: diesel cars remain important to meet emissions targets

Julian Rendell
16 May 2018
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Sales of new diesel engines have a future in the UK, a government minister has said, despite concerns that frugal oilburning powertrains will be banned post-2040.

“There is a place for diesel,” business secretary Greg Clark told the FT Future of the Car Summit 2018. “City centres are a flashpoint. Driving diesel a long distance is a different question.”

Government is currently working on a white paper dubbed "Road to Zero", which will outline a policy framework for managing road transport emissions towards zero by 2035/40.

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Suggesting that diesels are not totally out of favour inside government, Clark singled out the latest diesel technology as having a role in reducing greenhouse gases.

“New generation diesel can make a big contribution to reducing emissions,” he said.

Leaks from the drafts of the Road to Zero paper have suggested draconian policies that could even ban the sale of new plug-in hybrids if they lack sufficient electric-only range to hit a possible legal target for at least 50-mile electric range by 2040.