No cars in cities
Similar events occur in cities throughout the world, such as Mexico City, where it is not uncommon to see birds falling dead from the sky. The EU calculates that 300,000 premature deaths occur in the EU annually from respiratory and heart disease, caused by poor air quality, primarily caused by oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and particulates.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants to see all petrol and diesel cars banned from London by 2020. London is being threatened with a €300,000 fine for failing air quality standards. The EU and the UK have imposed high taxes on CO2, causing a significant shift in the passenger car market to diesels. Several EU cities have introduced diesel free days: including Berlin, Milan and Madrid. Current EU pollution legislation is failing to deal with NOX and particulates.
The growth of hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles will only occur if petrol and diesel vehicles are banned or restricted, which now looks to be high on the political agenda. In my opinion, the average company car driver pays attention to CO2 because of tax but has no interest in air quality.
Don Potts, Environmental Consultant – Volvo