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France plans to ban diesel vehicles to curb pollution

Diesel cars

France has planned to ban diesel vehicles completely by 2020.

Diesel vehicles are very popular in our country and various other markets worldwide. The reasons are very obvious for our country. Diesel has always been priced lower than petrol and diesel cars travel more kilometres per litre of fuel as compared to petrol cars. This brings a huge difference in running costs of petrol and diesel vehicles. Even in other countries where the prices of both the fuels are same or there isn’t a major difference, the difference in fuel efficiencies of petrol and diesel cars pushes a large number of buyers towards diesel cars. But now French government has planned to eliminate diesel vehicles altogether by 2020 to reduce the pollution they cause.

With the advancement in technology, diesel cars have improved a lot. They offer better fuel economy as we discussed already. The higher compression of diesel engines generates more power out of less fuel and an added turbocharger make things even better. In many markets where taxes are levied on the basis of the amount of CO2 a car produces, diesel cars get the advantage because they don’t produce as much CO2 as their petrol counterparts. And then the strong torque that is available from low down the rev range make them quite sensible for everyday commute where you are required to pull off from rest again and again. Even at high speeds, they can run at low speeds without putting much strain on the engine.

Despite all these advantages, they have got a major problem. The problem is pollution. The exhaust from diesel cars contains air contaminants that are toxic and have got acute health effects. The sulphur content in diesel exhaust has been reduced greatly over all these years but it still has got traces of that. The high temperatures and pressures inside the diesel engines and the lean burn nature of diesel engines result in a significant amount of nitrogen oxides which have health effects. Not only that but the particulate emission from diesel engines is also a major concern and isn’t produced by petrol engines. Many methods have been introduced over the years to control these pollutants but with the increasing number of diesel cars, the impact has just increased.

So in a measure to control the amount of pollution diesel vehicles produce, French government will try to eliminate diesel vehicles in the country completely by the year 2020. Right now there are almost 80 percent vehicles in France that run on the dirty oil. They will be putting up systems to identify the most polluting vehicles and then they will rank them on the basis of pollution they cause. The French Prime Minister stated that favouring diesel vehicles wasn’t a good idea and they will be revising tax structure so that the citizens shift their focus towards petrol powered vehicles. To do so, they will offer huge bonuses to owners who scrap their diesel cars in favour of an Electric Vehicle. They will also increase the excise tax on diesel. It was also reported that London is also likely to ban diesel cars after France.

Should India also ban diesel vehicles? Do share your thoughts by using the comments section below.

Source – BBC