Is diesel scrappage scheme coming?

Government ponders change as registrations drop

Published:  06 February, 2017

A diesel scrappage scheme could be on the cards after Transport Minister Chris Grayling suggested some big plans for the fuel in the months ahead.

Speaking on the Today show on BBC Radio 4, Grayling was questioned about the government's pro-diesel stance some years ago. He commented: The irony is a decade ago due to the increase in carbon emissions, there was a drive towards diesel which we now know has a different set of negative effects. The Department for the Environment is currently preparing and will launch shortly our strategy to tackle the diesel problem."

When asked whether this meant a phasing out of diesel fuel, Grayling responded: "there is no question that in the future we will have to move towards lower emission vehicles and we need to do it soon. I would like to see a migration of people to cleaner technologies. We are providing incentives to do that now and will be doing more in the months ahead."

Some media outlets have taken this to mean a scrappage scheme could be announced and possible as soon as the March budget statement. According to The Telegraph, a government source had confirmed talks were underway with the Treasury to finance the plan which would see older diesels taken off the UK roads.

The news comes as SMMT registration figures show the number of diesel sales to be dropping. In January 2017, the number of these cars sold in the UK dropped by 4.3%, while petrol sales increased by 8.9% and AFVs almost 20%, taking their market share to 4.2%.

Back in May 2016, Aftermarket reported on findings in an IMI report that stated a diesel scrappage scheme would not offer a large improvement in air quality. It stated that if 400,000 vehicles were taken off the road - in line with the 2009 scrappage scheme - NOx emission would only be cut by 5.5%, or 3.2% if estimated real-world emissions are used. This also relies on the diesel vehicles to be replaced with zero-emission equivalents, otherwise the numbers become smaller still.

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