The UK government has several anti-air pollution programmes in place, including the Ultra-Low Emission Zones and the Clean Air Zones. Experts have also stressed the importance of choosing the right vehicle. SUVs and other gas-guzzling cars and vans significantly contribute to air pollution, so they should be avoided at all costs.

In September 2021, a research analysis released by EDF Energy indicated that SUV carbon emissions are higher by at least 10% compared to the average vehicle. Estimates put the total volume of SUV carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at approximately 8.7 million tonnes every year, particularly when the vehicles have been driven for around 7,400 miles.

While the UK government is committed to its zero-emissions target and the ban on petrol and diesel engine sales, many drivers and SUV owners are still not decided on switching to EVs or electric vehicles. The EDF analysis showed that only about 53% of drivers are thinking of transitioning to EVs. More than half of the drivers are aware that switching to electric vehicles is safer for the environment, yet they are still not convinced that the vehicles are the right option for them.

According to an EDF representative, consumers are easily attracted to SUVs because they are spacious and stylish. These drivers are not aware, though, that there is a cleaner alternative that does not require them to sacrifice the aesthetic values they want.

SUVs nowadays come in models that incorporate various stylish elements. As such, they can transition to electric vehicles, help the fight against air pollution, and enjoy the luxury, comfort, and design they want.

Other aspects drivers consider

Aside from space and style, drivers are also concerned with several other aspects in transitioning to EVs:

  • Electric vehicles can be costly
  • Charge points are often difficult to access
  • It takes time to charge EVs
  • Getting a charging point for home use is costly

Nevertheless, feedback from electric vehicle owners has been positive. Other drivers have better experiences with their EVs – using a home charge-point; it is now easy for them to charge their EVs fully. Additionally, around 53% of drivers reiterated how electric vehicles are better, safer, and cleaner than petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.

EDF’s research specified that, in the past decade, SUVs have become the second highest contributor to the increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Despite this fact, the vehicles’ impacts on the environment are only 8th on the drivers’ list of important things to consider when buying a new model. Their top three concerns are:

  • Boot size
  • Cost to run
  • Is it a hybrid, diesel, or petrol?

Only about 26% of the polled drivers consider electric vehicles an option.

If SUV drivers will make the switch to EVs, 8.7 million tonnes of dangerous CO2 emissions will disappear from the air all around the UK.

If SUV drivers continue to downplay the emissions issue, this could have similar repercussions to the controversial diesel emissions scandal.

What does the Dieselgate scandal have to do with emissions?

Emissions, or the gases that are released by road transport, were the highlight of the 2015 Dieselgate scandal.

The Volkswagen Group received a Notice of Violation from US authorities in September of that year because of the alleged discovery of defeat devices in VW and Audi diesel vehicles sold to consumers in America. The devices are designed to manipulate emissions levels so that vehicles could breeze through regulatory tests.

VW recalled hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles as per the orders of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board. Over the years, the German carmaker has also spent billions on payoffs, including fines, fees, and compensation.

The defeat devices VW installed can detect when a vehicle goes into testing, so it automatically – and temporarily – controls emissions and lowers them to within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) legal limits. As a result, the vehicle appears clean, safe, and ready for driving. Being emissions-compliant is only good during test conditions, though, as the vehicle reverts into a pollutant once it is taken out of the lab.

As soon as the vehicle is on real roads, it goes back to emitting unlawful levels of nitrogen oxides or NOx. This group of gases are highly reactive and adversely affects the environment while also destroying human lives. NOx exposure can lead to serious health impacts, including cancer, cardiovascular illnesses, and premature death.

VW wasn’t (or isn’t) the only carmaker involved in the diesel emissions scandal, many others are, including two other German manufacturers – Mercedes-Benz and BMW. British carmaker Vauxhall is one of the newest additions to the list. Vauxhall emissions claim cases have just started in the UK.

The environmental impact and negative effects on human health, in addition to mis-selling high-polluting vehicles, are more than enough reasons for affected car owners to file a diesel claim against their carmakers. You can file one on your own or join a group litigation order (GLO).

How do I start my diesel claim?

Before talking to an emissions expert, you have to visit Emissions.co.uk first so you can verify if you are eligible to file for an emissions claim. Once you have all the information you need, you can sit down with your emissions expert and plan out your diesel emissions claim.