In a move that will set a precedent for other cities and countries around the world, Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens have revealed that they are going to adopt a plan under which they will stop use of all diesel-powered cars and trucks by the middle of the next decade i.e. by 2025.
The commitment towards a ban was made at a biennial meeting of city leaders in Mexico. The leaders of the cities said that they will be offering incentives to all those motorists who opt for alternative means of transportation including walking and cycling. The implementation of this ban will help in improving the air quality of the respective cities.
This major step will not only start a wave of reforms in the transportation industry in the cities from the citizen perspective, but it will also motivate auto manufacturers to look and opt for alternate fuels like electric and hydrogen cars and hybrids.
Research will be fast tracked and more and more focus will be diverted to such alternative fuel including green fuel sources. Manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and even BMW will expand their electric/plug-in hybrid car portfolio by 2020 itself, but others will now need to have a strategy in place owing to the decision by the four major cities.
Diesel powered vehicles have come under a lot of scrutiny in the recent years and even the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that close to three million deaths every year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution.
As we know, diesel engines produce particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), and PM in particular has been responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Nitrogen oxides too aggravate breathing difficulties. Clearly, the problem is worsening and though banning diesel powered vehicles might be one way of clamping down on this situation, it’s not just the car makers but the consumer who will suffer, because of this decision.