Category Archives: Pollution

Mass adoption of electric cars will send diesel extinct in UK, experts predict

Diesel technology is set to be a thing of the past, UK car industry executives believe.

The plan is to invest in the technology needed for battery electric vehicles over the next five years, according to 93% of executives while 62% felt that dieselis losing its importance for manufacturers.

Figures from KPMG’s annual global automotive executive survey also show that 90% of executives expect battery electric vehicles to dominate the marketplace by 2025.

Big shift expected in the next decade. Getty Images

John Leech, of KPMG, said:

“Improvements in the cost and range of battery technology, coupled with growing concern over the emission of both carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides from diesel engines, means that almost the whole automotive industry believes that the mass adoption of electric cars will happen during the next decade.”

Senior executives working for vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, financial and mobility service providers plus car users took part in the survey.

Some 74% of executives thought more than half of car owners today would not want to own a vehicle.

Researchers believe there will be fewer cars and therefore less money to be made from building vehicles in the future as people may opt to use, rent or pay for a car service rather than to own a car.

This was not feared as a looming problem because 85% of executives were convinced their company might make more money by providing new digital services than by selling cars alone.

Mr Leech said:

“Carmakers plan to sell a myriad of new digital services to vehicle users. Today car makers already make substantial profits from the sale of consumer finance and annual vehicle insurance but this will grow in the future as innovative services such as remote vehicle monitoring and the integration of the car as a focal point in people’s ever more connected lifestyles are demanded by consumers.”

Source: The Independent Online

Use pram covers ‘to protect babies from air pollution’ during school run

Parents should use pram covers to protect babies and young children from harmful air pollution during the school run, researchers suggest.

Traffic lights and bus stops were pollution hotspots and there were higher levels of pollution in the morning compared with the afternoon, the University of Surrey study said.

Young children are more at risk because their bodies are small and developing.

And they could be breathing in damaging substances, the study said.

A recent World Health Organization report said that 570,000 children under the age of five died every year from illnesses that could be linked to pollution.

The Surrey research, published in Environmental Pollution, was based on measurements from air monitoring equipment inside toddlers’ prams being pushed to and from schools during drop-off and pick-up times.

Scientists looked at pollution levels in prams during 64 trips, covering about 50 miles (80km), in Guildford.

Bus stops and traffic lights were the worst places for being exposed to the tiny particles from exhaust fumes and tyres that can get into the bloodstream.

And there were more of these harmful particles in the air during morning drop-off times, when traffic was at its busiest.

Dr Prashant Kumar, lead study author from the University of Surrey, said his findings were a warning to parents.

“Young children are far more susceptible to pollution than adults, due to their immature and developing systems and lower body weight,” he said.

“Essentially, children could be at risk of breathing in some nasty and harmful chemical species such as iron, aluminium and silica that form together the particles of various size ranges.”

Dr Kumar said the best way to stop this happening was to use a barrier between children in prams and the emissions from vehicle exhausts, especially at traffic lights, crossroads and bus stops.

He said his research team was also trying to find a way to clean the air around children sitting in their prams.

Source: BBC

Diesel car (Image: Y. Mok/PA)

Diesel drivers should think twice before buying – Transport Secretary

Drivers should think long and hard before buying a diesel car, the Transport Secretary has said.

Chris Grayling suggested motorists should consider buying a low-emission vehicle rather than spending their money on a diesel.

Diesel car (Image: Y. Mok/PA)
Diesel car (Image: Y. Mok/PA)

His intervention follows reports the Government is considering a scrappage scheme for diesel cars to improve air quality.

The reported scheme would see drivers offered a cash incentive for replacing an old diesel car with a low-emission vehicle.

Asked whether motorists should hesitate before buying a diesel, Mr Grayling told The Daily Mail:

“People should take a long, hard think about what they need, about where they’re going to be driving, and should make best endeavours to buy the least polluting vehicle they can.

“I don’t think diesel is going to disappear but someone who is buying a car to drive around a busy city may think about buying a low-emission vehicle rather than a diesel.”

Read more: MSN

Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths in the UK and costs the country £27.5bn a year, according to a government estimate

End UK tax incentives for diesel vehicles, ministers are urged

Ministers are coming under growing pressure to remove tax incentives for diesel cars and offer compensation to motorists so they can swap to more environmentally friendly vehicles

A group of medical professionals, environmental campaigners and lawyers has written to the chancellor ahead of the budget to demand a change to the vehicle excise duty that they say subsidises diesel cars.

Separately, senior Labour and Tory politicians have called for a comprehensive vehicle scrappage scheme to help people with diesel cars change to greener alternatives.

Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths in the UK and costs the country £27.5bn a year, according to a government estimate
Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths in the UK and costs the country £27.5bn a year, according to a government estimate

The letter from campaigners, including the British Lung Foundation, Greenpeace and doctors’ groups, says toxic air poses a daily risk to people’s health – particularly the young and those suffering from lung problems.

“Air pollution has … been shown to stunt children’s lung growth, which could leave them with health problems in later life,” it states. “We all deserve to breathe clean air.”

On Saturday the Guardian revealed that thousands of children and young people at more than 800 nurseries, schools and colleges in London faced dangerous and illegal levels of toxic air, much of it from diesel cars.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, indicated the government may bow to pressure, saying motorists should be wary of buying diesel cars, adding: “We’re going to have to really migrate our car fleet, and our vehicle fleet more generally, to cleaner technology.” However, he said that diesel “was not going to disappear”.

Air pollution causes 40,000 early deaths in the UK and costs the country £27.5bn a year, according to a government estimate. MPs have called it a public health emergency.

The letter adds:

“We know diesel vehicles, in particular diesel cars, are a major source of pollution in towns and cities … yet vehicle excise duty (VED) not only fails to recognise this, but is still incentivising them. We are therefore asking for a revision of the VED first-year rate in your upcoming budget statement.”

Read more: Edie.net

A new UK diesel car and van scrappage scheme could be launched in the 2017 Budget

Diesel scrappage scheme: Sadiq Khan warns diesel cars could be BANNED

MAYOR of London Sadiq Khan refuses to rule out a driving ban for the most polluting diesel and petrol cars in central London in a bid to reduce air pollution.

Sadiq Khan has warned that diesel cars could be banned from Central London in a bid to reduce air pollution.

This comes just a week after the Mayor announced a £10 toxicity charge for the oldest and most-polluting cars in the city, which will become effective in October.

Diesel cars that enter the congestion charge zone in central London will pat an additional T-charge of £10 on top of the £11.50 congestion charge.

A new UK diesel car and van scrappage scheme could be launched in the 2017 Budget
A new UK diesel car and van scrappage scheme could be launched in the 2017 Budget

Early predictions by the Mayor’s team believe that four in ten motorists will change their behaviour and stop entering the city centre.

In an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday the London Mayor claimed that “nothing is off the table” in relation to banning diesel cars.

“Well, I want to address the issue of poor quality air 365 days a year, not only on those days where the air is dangerous.”

“I’m using all the tools that i’ve got and we’re being innovative but the government has to do more.”

Air pollution contributes to the deaths of 9,000 Londoners annually and the level of harmful toxins in the air have exceeded legal limits regularly in the capital.

Read more: Express

Isis has made huge profits from captured oilfields (Image: Getty)

Electric Cars Could Cause Big Oil This Much Damage

The growth of battery-powered cars could be as disruptive to the oil market as the OPEC market-share war that triggered the price crash of 2014, potentially wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off the value from fossil fuel producers in the next decade.

About 2 million barrels a day of oil demand could be displaced by electric vehicles by 2025, equivalent in size to the oversupply that triggered the biggest oil industry downturn in a generation over the past three years, according to research from Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank, published Thursday. A similar 10 percent loss of market share caused the collapse of the U.S. coal mining industry and wiped more than a 100 billion euros ($108 billion) off the value of European utilities from 2008 to 2013, the report said.

(Image: Razzouk/Shutterstock)
(Image: Razzouk/Shutterstock)

Major oil companies are waking up to the potential disruption plug-in vehicles could have on their industry. BP Plc says electric vehicles, or EVs, could erase as much as 5 million barrels a day in the next 20 years, while analysts at Wood Mackenzie say they could erode as much as 10 percent of global gasoline demand over that time. Global oil demand could peak in as little as five years, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry.

By 2040 16 million barrels a day of oil demand could be displaced, rising to 25 million by 2050, a

“stark contrast to the continuous growth in oil demand expected by industry,”

according to the report. The impact on the oil industry could exceed price slump of 2014 to 2016 that “wiped hundreds of billions off capex,” Stefano Ambrogi, a spokesman for the Carbon Tracker Institute, said by e-mail.

The cost of EVs is already falling faster than previous forecasts and they could reach parity with conventional internal combustion vehicles by 2020, eventually saturating the passenger vehicle market by 2050, the report said.

EVs may take 19 to 21 percent of the road transport market by 2035, according to the researchers. That’s three times BP’s projection of 6 percent market share in 2035. By 2050, EVs would comprise 69 percent of the road-transport market, with oil-powered cars accounting for about 13 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

A new UK diesel car and van scrappage scheme could be launched in the 2017 Budget

Ministers plan HUGE scrappage scheme for diesel cars and vans

A DIESEL car scrappage scheme could soon see Brits earn up to £8,500 for their clapped-out old vehicles.

Anyone in the UK with a diesel car or van more than 10 years old is likely to be eligible to get whopping discounts off a low-emission replacement.

The Government is keen to rid Britain’s roads of diesel cars by 2030 and officials are considering copying an extremely successful French scheme, where drivers of the worst polluting cars are effectively handed up to €10,000 to switch to a new, super-clean model. More than 100,000 people in France now drive all-electric cars, which are now more popular in the country than hybrids.

A new UK diesel car and van scrappage scheme could be launched in the 2017 Budget
A new UK diesel car and van scrappage scheme could be launched in the 2017 Budget

Officials from the Departments for Transport and the Environment are in advanced talks about the plan, which could be announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond as soon as the Budget on March 22.

Ministers are conscious that successive governments encouraged drivers to buy diesel until recently, wrongly believing they were better for the environment. As a result, the new scheme will incentivise diesel drivers to switch, rather than punish them.

It follows a hugely successful scrappage scheme for old cars introduced in 2009 which saw 300,000 drivers replace their car in the first year. Under that programme, designed to boost the car industry in the wake of the recession, motorists were given £1,000 from the Government – matched by car manufacturers – to change their vehicle. It boosted new car sales by as much as 26%.

The new scheme would be far more ambitious by seeking to replace the most-polluting cars in Britain with the very cleanest, with punchy discounts to match.

Read more: Express

Car exhaust pollution (Image: Wikipedia)

The Solution to Air Pollution is Already Here

The overwhelming cause of air pollution in large cities is vehicle emissions (see DEFRA Website), and the answer is already here. Accelerate adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs), including cars, buses and ancillary vehicles.

For any EV driver, you will already know that traffic jams are much less stressful than in a petrol or diesel car. Each time you stop, you just stop. You don’t produce any emissions or waste any further energy. This was a delightful and unexpected insight to me when I got my first EV; that part of the stress of a traffic jam for me was the sheer sense of waste – not only was I burning fuel but it was achieving nothing.

Car exhaust pollution (Image: Wikipedia)
Car exhaust pollution (Image: Wikipedia)

A government genuinely committed to delivering clean air could achieve an enormous amount by designing fiscal “carrots” to allow serious growth of EVs to actively reduce air pollution. For example:

Come on Theresa. I know you are busy, but this is too important to leave to chance.

Source: LinkedIn

Charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed

EV charge points to boost Westminster air quality

The City of Westminster is to offer a greater number and variety of electric vehicle (EV) charging points available to drivers in the borough from early 2017.

The council announced yesterday (30 November) that from January 2017, charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed, including some rapid chargers.

The smart grid technology company BPL, under the Source London network, is putting in place a new model for electric charging, while Chargemaster is rolling out public charging network ‘Polar’.

PodPoint will be upgrading the equipment and the council will be working with new operators to increase provision for EV users across the borough. A new range of tariffs tailored for different users of different types of EV technology is being introduced by the operators.

Charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed
Charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed

Westminster city council was the first local authority in the UK to launch on-street charging points for electric vehicles. It now has over 60 on-street charging points, with an additional 200 available off-street.

The council claims that the expansion of the EV network will also help its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood and other air quality hotspots in the borough by reducing the emission of harmful pollutants.

Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said:

“Poor air quality is a continuing problem for us in Westminster, but we’re doing all we can to help improve our environment through our Greener City Action Plan. This includes encouraging a switch away from diesel vehicles, with easy parking for electric vehicles and improving electric vehicle infrastructure, encouraging car club use as an alternative to a private car, reducing freight and waste vehicle movement, promoting more cycling and walking, eliminating vehicle engine idling and reducing emissions from buildings.”

Cllr Acton also explained that the authority is also trialling new measures within its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood which “will help make real improvements to air quality in central London.” And, she added:

“Electric vehicles can help by cutting reliance on more polluting cars. The expansion of the EV network offers an improved service for those who need a vehicle.”

Read more: Air Quality News

Smog over Paris (Image: F. Fife/AFP/Getty)

Paris tries something different in the fight against smog

Under a new French scheme cars are labelled according to the pollution that they emit. This allows the worst offenders to be banned when necessary.

Last week Paris suffered its fourth smog of the winter and tried a new idea to protect its residents from the worst effects. Like many European cities, the Paris region has a well-established system of emergency actions that escalate if smog persists. Initial steps include health warnings, reduced speed limits and restrictions on lorries in the city centre. Final steps include cheaper public (€3.80 for a day pass), and bans on half of cars, using an odd/even number plate system.

Smog over Paris (Image: F. Fife/AFP/Getty)
Smog over Paris (Image: F. Fife/AFP/Getty)

Despite gradual long-term improvements in air pollution across Europe, in the last month Oslo and Madrid restricted traffic to protect their residents during smog but there is little evidence on the effectiveness of these schemes. The odd/even car ban during the Paris smog of March 2014 reduced the particle pollution alongside major roads by around 20% in the rush hour, but this was less effective in December 2016 as fewer people left their car at home.

This time, instead of taking half of the cars from the roads, Paris banned the oldest diesels. This was made possible by a new French scheme to label cars according to the pollution that they emit. Electric ones get a green sticker. A petrol car made between 1997 and 2003 gets an orange sticker. The new smog scheme banned the most polluting diesels, those more than 16 years old.

Read more: The Guardian