Defeating the Diesel Dilemma
Nitrogen oxide pollution is at an all-time high. Since the scandal involving Volkswagen and its “defeat devices” that falsified data on car emissions, pollution has been at the forefront of the minds of politicians and governing bodies who are deeming current levels of air pollution unacceptable.
Between 2008 and 2015, several cars had been fitted with devices that could misrepresent emissions figures to pass environmental tests – the revelation of which caused quite a stir. Now diesel pollution is under the microscope by experts and many studies are producing shocking data about the poor quality of Britain’s air. It has been revealed that currently 59.3% of Brits are living in areas where Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollution is above the legal limit, which is of gigantic concern to the general public.
To put the dangers faced into perspective, experts believe that 40,000 deaths in the UK each year are caused by air pollution. Of those 40,000, a frightening 23,500 are the fault of fumes from diesel traffic, according to research by the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Sadly, it is estimated that the figure of NOx related deaths could rise to 183,600 by 2040 if nothing is done to prevent it, according to a journal by the University of York and the International Council of Clean Transportation.
Cars, lorries and passenger vans may be the obvious target of the most criticism in the diesel-debate, but it is worth noting that construction sites are responsible for 7.5% of nitrogen oxide pollution, 8% of large particle pollution (PM10) and 14.5% of the most dangerous of small particle pollutions (PM2.5), with the culprits being diggers, generators and other machinery used on sites. This is in addition to the more obvious pollution causes such as dust caused by demolition, so in a boom of new home building in the construction industry this is certainly an area of concern. Experts are now holding the belief that diesel fuel dangers to construction workers and the public should be treated with the same level of urgency as Asbestos.
According to new European data, modern diesel cars produce ten times more toxic air pollution than heavy trucks and buses and still pollute above EU limits, which may be due to the fact that the testing of larger vehicles is much stricter. There are now calls for the same harsher testing methods to be applied to smaller automobiles. Some changes are due to be made in September, with plans to attach mobile devices known as PEMS (Portable Emissions Measurement Systems) to cars so that they can be tested outside of the factory in real-life road conditions.
Other action for improvement is already being taken, with technologies by companies such as Off Grid Energy developing hybrid machines that reduce nitrogen oxide output by 60%, and Volvo construction are now prototyping an impressive hybrid excavator – but much more could be done in the meantime to address the desperate diesel dilemma. Sales in “green” cars are now on the rise, and bans on diesel fuel cars are planned in some European cities, which may mean that in the future it is the complete replacement of diesel cars that will eventually clear the air.
So what can your business do to minimise its impact on NOx pollution?
Having a tracking system fitted in your company vehicles can certainly benefit both your business and the environment, as it enables the monitoring of driver behaviour that can cause increased emissions. Speeding, harsh braking and unnecessarily keeping the engine running can all be contributing to our pollution problem and a tracking system will have you equipped to address these simple yet incredibly important environmental impactors. It would also mean more money in your business’ back pocket as you save on fuel and on wear and tear of vehicle parts.
If you are interested in doing your bit for the planet and putting paid to our pollution problem, speak with Phantom’s helpful team, on 0161 476 4050 to discuss how a dynamic tracking system can help to reduce your company’s environmental impact and wasted fuel.