Govt war on diesel is confusing public, says JLR boss
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