The Government must take some of the blame on its shoulders, the firm says, with the introduction of large tax penalties on diesel at the pumps and a proposed 3% levy on diesel powered cars under the new carbon dioxide-based company car tax regime to be introduced in 2002. Civil servants are wrestling with huge problems over how to treat diesel, not least that as fast as they form a policy, development in the motor industry means policies are outdated before they are introduced.
Peugeot, Britain's number one diesel car manufacturer, fears that although old diesel technology may be dirty, new engines, such as its high pressure direct injection HDi diesels are not being taken into account in Government policy. Speaking as the firm prepared to launch the 206 D Turbo HDi, Evans said: 'The British belief that diesel cars are dirty, smelly and might affect public health is based on old technology and misleading information. Modern diesels emit 20% less greenhouse gas and 50% less hydrocarbon pollution than their petrol equivalents. It is time the British public were brought up to date.'