RECENT tests have revealed a number of new diesel cars produce almost zero harmful emissions.
And the results show that some engines are cleaner than some of the UK’s most popular petrol vehicles.
New testing by German automobile group ADAC – similar to the AA – show that some of the latest diesel cars emit close to no dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx).
A Mercedes-Benz C-Class 220d powered by 2.0-litre diesel engine produced no NOx pollution during on-road testing.
One of the UK’s most popular cars the Vauxhall Astra only produced 1mg/km during testing, as did the BMW 5 Series 520d Touring estate.
And all of the 13 diesels which were tested were significantly below the legal emissions limit allowed on British roads.
In some cases, the diesel vehicles performed much better in the on-road tests than the equivalent petrol models.
Surprisingly, the Volkswagen Golf diesel performed exactly the same as the petrol version, emitting 14mg/km of NOx.
Tougher restrictions could be introduced by the European Commission next year, which would require all new diesel models to achieve less than 114mg/km of NOx and 86mg/km for petrol.
Current Euro 6 regulations require diesel cars to emit no more than 168mh/km.
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But no cars tested by ADAC came close to going over the limit, with the Honda Civic diesel emitting the most with 101mg/km.
Drivers have been discouraged from buying diesel cars in recent years, with ministers pushing for more electric and hybrid motors on the road to reduce air pollution.
From April 8, motorists who drive older vehicles, including pre-2015 diesels, will be made to pay £12.50 every day when travelling in London’s ULEZ.
The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week within central London.