Govt war on diesel is con­fus­ing pub­lic, says JLR boss

Autocar - - NEWS -

THE GOVERN­MENT’S MOVE to broaden its fo­cus on tack­ling air qual­ity be­yond the car in­dus­try has been wel­comed, but se­nior fig­ures in­clud­ing Jaguar Land Rover’s UK man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jeremy Hicks have cau­tioned that more clar­ity is still re­quired.

Last week, the govern­ment re­vealed that it is looking at ways to re­duce all forms of pol­lu­tion as part of its clean air strat­egy, and high­lighted the ef­fects of wood burn­ers, coal­burn­ing and am­mo­nia from farms. No­tably, en­vi­ron­ment sec­re­tary Michael Gove did not men­tion cars.

“Frankly, there is so much con­fu­sion now, cre­ated by the govern­ment,” said Hicks.

“Our own sur­veys sug­gest that peo­ple are ask­ing if it is even okay to buy an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion engine any more. The ter­mi­nol­ogy is un­clear. The govern­ment’s tax­a­tion pol­icy is un­clear. The un­cer­tainty and am­bi­gu­ity has caused un­told con­fu­sion.

“Any­one who was think­ing they could sort air qual­ity out by de­mon­is­ing diesel was think­ing in the same terms as some­one who thinks they can solve al­co­holism by ban­ning beer. Cars are part of the prob­lem, but they are far from be­ing the only prob­lem.”

Regis­tra­tions of dieselpow­ered cars fell by 17% in 2017 and are down by more than a third this year.

Clean air strat­egy launched

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