SMMT launches defence of diesel

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has come out with a strong defence of diesel-engined commercial vehicles in the face of the growing anti-diesel public sentiment.

Its response coincides with the CV Show in Birmingham. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Commercial vehicles play an essential but often overlooked role in keeping Britain functioning, performing jobs and transporting vital goods and services that we all rely on every day. This sector has never been so important to the UK economy – and to British jobs – and diesel’s role in powering these vital vehicles should not be downplayed.

“Nearly all our commercial vehicles are driven by diesel, and thanks to heavy investment by industry to develop world-leading low emission technology, the latest Euro VI CVs on our roads today are the cleanest and safest ever.”

The SMMT pointed out that the UK is now the EU’s biggest online retail sector, with consumers here buying some £67.4 billion worth of goods and services online in 2016. Commercial vehicles transported 1.52 billion tonnes of goods across the UK in 2015 – including medicines, clothing and groceries.

“The development of the latest low emission technology has resulted in Euro VI vehicles that have virtually eliminated particulates, while on-road tests of the latest heavy commercials show a 95 per cent reduction in NOx over their older Euro V counterparts. These modern, low-emission vehicles play a critical part in improving air quality.”

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