Expert Reaction: Diesel and petrol car ban

Posted on 27 July 2017

Professor Alastair Lewis, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (WACL), reacts to a new government report that suggests any new diesel and petrol cars could be banned from 2040.

The most beneficial impact will be on reducing roadside exposure to Nitrogen Oxide

Professor Lewis said: “Although air quality in the UK is clearly much better than some other parts of the world, the economic case to continue to improve it is overwhelming, even though technically this becomes more and more challenging.

“The costs to the economy, through lost productivity and costs to the NHS are measured in the billions of pounds per year, and could well increase further with an ageing population.

“Given the rate of improvement in battery and electric vehicle technology over the last ten years by 2040 small combustion engines in private cars could well have disappeared without any government intervention. Nonetheless this new announcement of a ban is highly symbolic since it signals to both the public and to manufacturers that there is no turning back from electrification. It will go down as significant milestone in the history of air pollution in the UK.

Read the full story here.