Bosses of some of the biggest carmakers are today helping to launch a nationwide campaign to “challenge the increasing demonisation of diesel”.
Launched by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the campaign includes “a diesel facts myth-busting guide” which will be available online and in leaflet form from car companies and dealers.
The SMMT said the campaign was being launched as a YouGov survey of 2,166 UK adults showed that 87 per cent were unaware of new EU vehicle emission standards that all cars must meet from September.
The poll also showed that 54 per cent incorrectly blamed cars and commercial vehicles as the biggest cause of air pollution in the UK. Just under one in five (19 per cent) correctly identified power stations as the biggest contributors of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Today, companies including BMW UK, Ford of Britain, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen joined the SMMT in the campaign to to raise awareness about the latest low-emission car technology.
The SMMT is also urging policy makers and those considering imposing local measures against diesels to avoid confusing motorists by penalising one fuel technology over another.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Today’s diesel engines are the cleanest ever, and the culmination of billions of pounds of investment by manufacturers to improve air quality.
“Bans and parking taxes on diesel vehicles therefore make no sense from an environmental point of view. We need to avoid penalising one vehicle technology over another and instead encourage the uptake of the latest low emission vehicles by consumers.
“The allegations against diesel cars made in recent months threaten to misguide policy making and undermine public confidence in diesel. It’s time to put the record straight.”