Majority of Europeans Want Ban on Petrol and Diesel Car Sales after 2030
In Europe, approximately 90% of city residents are regularly exposed to toxic air with pollutant levels higher than the legal limits. In the UK, over 30,000 deaths every year are attributed to air pollution. Toxic air is a major problem, which is why the Government was required to develop plans and programs that can reduce air pollution and bring it down to within the safe and legal limits.
One of the measures the Government and European authorities came up with is the phasing out of diesel and petrol vehicle sales after the year 2030. And it looks like this plan is expected to be a success if results of a recent poll are to be the major basis.
Environmental campaigners commissioned market research and data analytics company YouGov to conduct an online poll on the Government’s plan of banning diesel and petrol vehicle sales. The respondents, totalling to 10,050, were from the UK, Spain, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Germany, France, and Belgium. Approximately 63% of the respondents expressed their support for the Government’s emissions-free goal, agreeing that phasing out sales of diesel and petrol vehicles is the ideal way to achieve this.
A representative from the environmental campaign group that commissioned the poll confidently revealed that the support was extensive, covering practically all areas of Europe. People now understand the dangers posed by internal combustion engines and they want to put a stop to this.
The campaigners urged the European Commission to come up with an end date for the EU-wide phase out. Although many car manufacturers have started working on voluntary diesel phase outs, setting a deadline for the EU community is the ideal step to take if the goal is to bring the rest of the EU population on board.
Earlier this year, in June, the Commission was expected to propose stricter measures and emissions limits for vehicles and legislation for electric charging infrastructure expansion. Several European governments have already set their plans into action, but an EU-wide phase out is still needed.
An EU diplomat said that the end date should coincide with the climate neutrality objective that is expected to unfold in 2050. As such, stopping the sales of diesel and petrol cars before or by 2030 is the proper thing to do.
Diesel and petrol vehicle emissions are primary contributors to air pollution.
Air pollution from road transport emits dangerous gases called nitrogen oxides or NOx, which has nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NOx helps form acid rain, smog, and ground-level ozone. In some aspects, NOx also contributes to the formation of particulate matter, specifically PM2.5 or fine particulate matter.
Nitrogen oxides have adverse effects on human health, both direct and indirect.
- Loss of appetite
- Breathing problems
- Corroded teeth
- Eye irritation
- Asthma or aggravated asthma
- Reduced lung function
- Cardiovascular issues
- Other respiratory problems
Exposure to high levels of NOx may also cause premature death. In addition, some studies have proof that it can trigger mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
PM2.5, which easily gets into the lungs, can cause lung damage, heart issues, fluid buildup in lungs, and – in serious cases – cancer and early death.
Indirect health effects are also caused by damage to ecosystems, which are a result of exposure to nitrogen oxides.
NOx emissions mainly come from diesel vehicles, which is why the Dieselgate emissions scandal received all the attention that it did when it first broke in 2015.
The diesel emission scandal started with Volkswagen, when the German car manufacturer was accused by the US Environmental Protection Agency or EPA of installing defeat devices in their diesel vehicles in the United States. A defeat device is software that is used to cheat emissions tests. When it detects that a test is about to happen, it automatically lowers emissions to legal limits. As such, it hides the vehicle’s real emission levels.
When the car is driven in real-world conditions, its emissions revert to its normal level, way above the EU and WHO legal and safe limits. So, car manufacturers deceive their customers by selling vehicles that are supposedly environment-friendly but emit high levels of toxic air.
Aside from Volkswagen, other car manufacturers are also implicated in the scandal. The Mercedes Benz emission scandal came out several months after Volkswagen’s case hogged the spotlight. Other manufacturers involved include Renault, BMW, Vauxhall, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ford, Nissan, Suzuki, Jeep, Citroën, and Peugeot.
Car manufacturers have been paying fines and compensation to customers. Most of them have also been ordered to recall affected cars so these could be upgraded with safer systems.
Do your part
You don’t have to wait for 2030 to do your part in the campaign against polluted air, especially if your vehicle is fitted with a defeat device. After verifying with your manufacturer that your car is affected, work with a team of emissions experts at emissions.co.uk and file your emission compensation claim. You are entitled to file a Volkswagen or Mercedes emission claim, or claims from any of the other involved manufacturers for the inconvenience and financial loss the scandal caused you.
Work with an experienced team of experts such as the ones at Emissions.co.uk so you’ll have greater chances of filing a successful claim.