A diesel scrappage scheme would be a “fairer” incentive to get drivers out of older, more polluting, diesel cars.
After Prime Minister Theresa May said drivers of older diesels would be helped into cleaner cars Steve Nash (pictured), chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry, said: “At last there seems to be some realisation that British drivers were misled about diesel”.
And the Government is preparing to submit its updated clean air plans by April 24 which is also set to focus on reducing the numbers of older diesels on the roads.
“It’s all been about ‘stick’ rather than ‘carrot’ so far”, Nash said, referring to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s announcement, also yesterday, of a plan to charge diesel car drivers £24 per day to enter the capital.
“Whilst it makes sense to steer car owners away from diesel, it currently seems all about putting cost on them rather than accepting some of the financial burden centrally.
“A scrappage scheme, or some other form of incentive to soften the cost of change, would be fairer and help to accelerate the process. As would a commitment from the Government to make the cost of ownership of electrics and hybrids more palatable.
“The IMI has been campaigning for some time for the Government to allocate some of the millions that’s currently being put to increasing charging points, to supporting the training of motor retailers in being able to maintain and service these vehicles.
“Until this is addressed, insurance and servicing costs will mean electric vehicles stay out of the reach of many drivers and the clean air target won’t be achieved.
"And that probably means, despite various politicians’ best efforts to deter interest in diesels, these will continue to be seen as the most fuel efficient alternative, keeping them on our roads in significant numbers for decades to come.”