Attitudes towards diesel powered vehicles have been hit by a series of scandals over the last few years. Their importance to the UK economy remains very strong though. In fact they play such a pivotal role in terms of supporting motor industry jobs and economic contribution that the industry has issued a strong defence of the technology.
The most recent defence of diesel came from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). They issued a statement that pointed out that the vast majority of commercial and emergency services vehicles in the UK are diesel powered. Without them lots of jobs would be lost.
The statement from SMMT came prior to the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham between the 25th and 27th of April 2017. The exhibition is the largest of its type in the UK and showcases a huge variety of products and services associated with commercial vehicles. Over 21,000 business customers visit the event each year to explore the exhibitions, meet clients, and network.
The chief executive of SMMT, Mike Hawes, stated that the commercial vehicle sector has never been more important to the UK economy. As well as being responsible for such a huge number of motor industry jobs, the sector is worth billions. In fact around £27.5 billion is made purely from moving freight in Britain, the majority of which is done courtesy of diesel powered vehicles.
In addition to freight, vans for all kinds of commercial uses and various other vehicles such as heavy industrial ones, tens of thousands of police vans, ambulances and fire engines are also powered by diesel. Any restrictions or penalties could result in big problems as a result.
Although diesel commercial vehicles are important there is an acceptance that more is needed to make them cleaner and safer. The latest Euro VI emissions standards took a step in the right direction by focusing on reducing the amount of harmful exhaust emissions produced by both diesel and petrol cars. The improvements in the technology must be done in a way that does not threaten motor trade jobs though.