Petrol is less polluting than Diesel, says SMMT UK
A reduction in the number of diesel cars would not risk Carbon targets - in fact it would make them affordable to achieve
Diesel v/s petrol cars is often presented as a trade-off between health impacting air pollution and climate impacting carbon emissions.
UK's Society of Motor-Manufacturers and Traders blamed an Anti-Diesel agenda for the increase in the country's average new-car carbon emissions.
Diesel cars give a better fuel efficiency as compared to petrol cars, but this overstates the difference in carbon emissions as one gallon of petrol contains less energy and less carbon than one gallon of diesel.
If fuels were taxed on basis of energy and carbon content, rather than on volume, then the tax on diesel would be around 14 percent greater than that on petrol.
As per the International Council on Clean Transportation, petrol and petrol-hybrid engines are improved and faster than diesel engines. According to them, a decline in the diesel vehicles from 56 to around 15 percent would not risk the EU carbon targets. Instead, it would make the targets easy to achieve because petrol engines are cheaper to make and have simpler exhaust clean-up.
The future might be electric cars and public transport or even a better energy alternative like cycling and walking, but in the short term new petrol cars are definitely better than diesel ones and might help both climate impact and air pollution.