Majority of Europeans Want Ban on Petrol and Diesel Cars by 2030
In April 2021, an online poll conducted by YouGov across 15 cities in Europe showed that the majority of urban residents were in favour of a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles by the year 2030. EU lawmakers have been working hard to transform Europe and slowly achieve zero emissions and climate neutrality by the year 2050.
Over 60% of city residents prefer emissions-free vehicles to be the only ones in the consumer market after 2030. Only a small percentage – around 29% – are not in favour of the petrol and diesel vehicles sales phase out.
The YouGov survey was conducted among over 10,000 respondents and it was done online. The UK, Germany, Spain, Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, and Hungary comprised the eight countries that researchers focused on. The respondents were residents of the largest cities of the said countries.
Transport & Environment’s (T&E) Julia Poliscanova revealed that city residents are now against the sale of internal combustion engines because they know they are exposed to high levels of toxic air. This is the common sentiment across Europe. She urged politicians to take the people’s request seriously. Several EU governments already have an identified end date for petrol and diesel vehicles. However, an EU-wide phase-out is still the best solution for many, including the UK. Stricter emissions limits and stringent implementation of policies are also essential.
An EU diplomat urged the European Commission to align the end date for the phase-out with the 2050 climate neutrality objective.
Dates set to ban petrol and diesel cars
Eleven months after an end date was proposed, EU Member States Environment Ministers finally agreed on and approved an end date for the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles – specifically new light-duty vehicles – in Europe. By 2035, only vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions can be sold in the EU market. As for hybrid vehicles or alternative fuel-powered vehicles, manufacturers and consumers have to wait until 2026, when the commission will confirm if sales of such cars and vans will continue after 2035.
As per the EU, the 2035 end date will give everyone just enough time to transition vehicles according to the 2050 climate objectives. The IEA or International Energy Agency recommends that developed countries end sales of non-zero emissions light vehicles by 2035 if the 2050 net-zero energy system goal is to be achieved.
Additionally, niche manufacturers, or carmakers that produce 10,000 or fewer vehicles in a year, are exempted for five years from their zero emissions obligations. Some of the world’s most expensive and popular luxury brands fall under this category.
In the UK, before the ban on new non-zero emissions vehicles, the government is urging carmakers to shift to producing EVs or electric vehicles. Zero-emissions mandates on petrol and diesel vehicles will be implemented starting in 2024. Authorities will require carmakers to provide proof that a significant fraction of their fleet or vehicles should have zero emissions.
Diesel emissions scandal
Contrary to what people used to believe, diesel vehicles are significant contributors to air pollution. Diesel used to be the preferred option as they were thought to be environmentally friendly. However, this changed after the Dieselgate diesel emissions fiasco erupted in 2015.
In September of that year, the Volkswagen Group received a notice from US authorities. According to the California Air Resources Board and the EPA –Environmental Protection Agency – Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles were installed with defeat devices intended to cheat emission tests. These were sold to consumers in the United States.
VW initially denied the accusations but later confirmed they were aware of the cheat devices. The carmaker has spent billions over the years on fines, legal fees, and claims compensation. Hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles have also been recalled for engine correction.
The carmaker has also entered into settlements with US and UK authorities, with the cumulative cost totalling billions, including payments to car owners who brought forward emissions claims against them.
Aside from the VW Group, Mercedes-Benz and many other popular carmakers have been implicated in the diesel emissions scandal. Mercedes emissions claim cases were brought to court in the UK in 2020 and the number of affected car owners making a claim continues to grow by the day.
A defeat device has been engineered to sense when a vehicle is in testing so it can reduce emissions levels artificially and keep these within the World Health Organization (WHO)-regulated limits. So, in the lab, the vehicle appears emissions-compliant. However, when it is brought out and driven on real roads, it releases massive volumes of nitrogen oxide or NOx emissions. NOx is a highly reactive group of gases containing nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It has adverse effects on the environment and human health, including premature death.
VW, Mercedes, and all other carmakers that installed the defeat device mis-sold vehicles and lied to their customers.
What is an emission claim?
A diesel emissions claim is what an affected car owner is encouraged to bring against their carmaker. The claim is a process intended to offer drivers financial compensation for their carmaker’s deceitful act. There are requirements to meet to determine a driver’s eligibility for a claim.
Verify your eligibility to make a diesel claim against your carmaker by getting in touch with the panel at Emissions.co.uk. Talk to them now.