UK Diesels 21 Percent Cleaner Than A Decade Ago

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

A study issued earlier this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has concluded that modern diesel engines in the United Kingdom are 21 percent cleaner than that were a decade earlier.

Hybrid Cars reports the group’s New Car CO2 Report also found modern diesels to be 27 percent more economical than in 2003, greatly aided by technologies — including stop-start and common-rail systems — in reducing emissions and running costs.

Average UK vehicle CO2 output fell 29.1 percent over the past 14 years to just 128.3g/km, achieving the 130g/km target set by the European Union for 2015.

For their part, Bosch — one of the manufacturers at the forefront of advancing diesel technology — says it will continue to move diesels forward in the march toward further cleanliness and efficiency, going so far as to include hybrids — such as the Bosch-augmented Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 — in order to meet the 2020 standard of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Tom Szechy Tom Szechy on Mar 27, 2014

    Problem is we end up with cars like the BMW 316d, 520d (518d?), MB E220CDI and such. The sounds these abominations make creep me out, while the army of product marketing people, plus their good friends, the diesel lobbyists in Brussels all cheer because it's all "cleaner".

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    • Tom Szechy Tom Szechy on Mar 27, 2014

      @charly They sound like tractors. I'm not sure if executives want to be sitting in tractors, but then again I'm not one. Honestly they sound like an empty oil barrel with bunch of steel balls shaken inside them (especially anything with less than 5 cylinders). Not to mention that as the common rail pressures are being kept pumped up, they sound even worse. Apart from that, your points are valid IMO, except for point c): European car makers make the only diesel engines (used in passenger vehicles) in the world, so they are actually _interested_ in pushing these powerplants to the market and so differentiating themselves from everyone else. In other words, they keep the battle on the homefront, and make sure that noone else will be genuinely interested in investing into diesel tech as this is their home turf. My guess is that they will keep doing this as long as Toyota (and other) hybrid tech patents are valid, and then "suddenly" they will make the transition to a less-polluting way of making cars go.

  • Battles Battles on Mar 27, 2014

    Apart from the brilliantly stated arguments above about the re-definition of pollutants to suit the current agenda, we are already (I'm in the UK) starting to see the first wave of new-ish cars with all these technologies ending up in scrapyards because they're uneconomical to fix after a few years. The emission standards in the MOT can't be met when some obscure component fails but if the car already has the failure at year three (the first MOT is at three years old) I wonder if it ever actually worked?

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    • Leshnah Leshnah on Mar 28, 2014

      @Battles I live in Chile, working for a certain italian carmaker, and I second this comment. Newish diesel engines, complian with Euro V emmision requirements and up are very prone to the above stated failure, specially while working in areas at 2000 or so meters above sea level. It happens not only in small diesel delivery vans (what we sell) but in big pickup trucks (Nissan Navara/Frontier). Some manufacturers are even offering models with a sort of choke, that facillitates the "Italian tune-up" you describe!!

  • Charly Charly on Mar 27, 2014

    21% cleaner per mile or per gallon? Because if the engine is 21% less pollutant and 27% more efficient than it is obviously more pollutant per gallon if both number are in gallons.

  • Charly Charly on Mar 27, 2014

    Chart 17 in the CO2 report explains why you see so few pick-ups outside the US

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 27, 2014

      Vans are 3/4s to 4/5ths are high compared to light 4x4s in the chart, yet from what I've seen they seem to be as common as 4x4s here depending on region.