The UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) held a press conference on March 11th which sought to challenge the perceived increase in demonisation of diesel vehicles in the UK. The conference also looked to raise awareness of the latest low-emission technologies available to users in the UK and throughout Europe.
Mark Ovenden, CEO of SMMT, presented alongside UK representatives from Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, BMW and Volkswagen and highlighted the progress made by diesel vehicle manufacturers in reducing harmful emissions over the past 15 years. The presenters also stressed the benefits of the upcoming Euro 6 standards which will come into effect for all new diesel passenger cars sold on or after September 1st 2015, and claimed that carbon dioxide (CO2) targets can only be met if modern diesel vehicles continue to be used.
One of the strongest aims of the new campaign is to increase awareness of the latest technology used in Euro 6 compliant vehicles, citing that 87% of UK adults were unaware of the new standards and increased technological advances made by diesel engine manufacturers. Moreover, the lack of distinction between new diesel vehicles and older models were clearly articulated by many of those who spoke. The group drew attention to the 84% reduction in NOx emissions since the turn of the century, and also the benefits of filters and exhaust aftertreatments such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology which together result in 99% of all soot particles being caught.
Details of the campaign can be found at www.dieselfacts.co.uk, which is a fact finding website run by SMMT.