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CV industry highlights value of diesels to UK economy

Diesel vehicles plays a vital role in the UK’s emergency and delivery services, with Euro 6 CVs on the roads marking the cleanest and safest ever.

An SMMT image showing the variety of commercial vehicles on British fleets.

That’s the message from the UK’s commercial vehicle industry on the opening day of the 2017 Commercial Vehicle Show.

Research published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) at the show, reveals that the UK’s commercial vehicles contribute £27.5bn to the economy from freight alone and that 1.8 million owner operators are dependent on vans for their livelihoods.

The association also highlights that on average, diesel vans use around 50% less fuel than petrols and that the Euro 6 diesel trucks and vans on sale today are the cleanest in history.

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 6 CVs on our roads today are the cleanest and safest ever.”

However, there is also strong opposition to the continued use of diesel in the commercial vehicle sector. Areeba Hamid, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace, commented: “Is it disingenuous to suggest that it is diesel vehicles, rather than commercial vehicles of any fuel type, that contributes to the economy.

“In reality, diesel is costing the economy by creating air pollution that puts a huge strain on the NHS. And frankly, most people aren’t wedded to the idea that their home deliveries arrive in a diesel vehicle that’s pumping out toxic air pollution.

“Thankfully, many companies in the fleet sector do really care about both air pollution and the environment, and there’s been significant  progress in taking up new cleaner technologies. Instead of promoting new diesel, the focus should be solely on moving quickly to hybrid and electric vehicles.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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