PMQs: PM says Clean Air Zone is ‘unworkable’

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Around 58 percent of petrol and diesel drivers polled admitted that they did not know how much CO2 the average internal combustion engine car emits every year. carwow, the car buying and selling marketplace, in conjunction with Karai, the carbon offsetting app, conducted the survey recently and received staggering results from the 22,000 respondents.

The thousands of drivers were asked one question with three possible answers. The question was: “Can you guess how much CO2 a car emits each year?”

Nearly two-thirds (58 percent) of respondents didn’t know the answer and subsequently guessed wrong.

Experts at carwow and Karai suggested that there was work to be done for motorists to understand and be educated about, their ICE car’s environmental, real-world CO2 impact. 

More than four in 10 drivers (42 percent) selected the correct answer – that the average ICE car emits 1,700kg of carbon dioxide yearly.

The researchers also said there was still room for improvement for motorists to become educated about the emissions output of their vehicles.

According to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy stats from 2018, transport still accounted for 33 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, with most of this coming from road transport. 

Most Clean Air Zones around the UK, as well as the London ULEZ, require vehicles to have a minimum emissions standard of Euro 4 for petrol and Euro 6 for diesel.

Euro 4 vehicles are those generally registered from January 1, 2006, while Euro 6 are those registered after September 1, 2015.

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A new standard of emissions – Euro 7 – is expected to be introduced in the coming years and will most likely be the final iteration of this type of legislation.

By 2035, Euro 7 is expected to have lowered total NOX emissions from cars and vans by 35 percent compared to Euro 6, and by 56 percent compared to Euro 6 from buses and lorries

Calin Saftoiu, Chief Executive Officer of Drive Key Corporation, suggested that drivers could make changes to their habits in a bid to slash their emissions.

He added: “Since the survey [by carwow] shows that nearly two-thirds of motorists are potentially unaware of their vehicle’s environmental impact, we hope this highlights how Karai can be used to better educate drivers about how much CO2 they are emitting, and offer solutions of how to reduce that output or to offset.

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“Karai is as much of an educational tool for drivers, since it also provides a real-world driving score to show where motorists can drive more efficiently, as it is an app that can offset these CO2 emissions via carbon credits. 

“Being carbon neutral is important in a world where we’re struggling with rising seas and temperature increases, which are, in part caused by vehicle emissions. 

“Of course, cars are only part of the issue, but with Karai, it’s a problem that drivers can help solve with the touch of a button.”

Mobile applications have often been touted as ways for drivers to keep an eye on their emissions and to help them avoid any unnecessary Clean Air Zone costs.

Map-based apps like Google Maps and Waze use vehicle tracking software to alert the driver in the presence of any emissions-based charging areas.

The Karai by DriveKey app uses DVLA data on any tailpipe emission-based registration on g/km carbon usage to calculate actual emissions.

Considering traffic for increased CO2 output and steady long journeys on motorways being more efficient, the app provides, in real-time, the actual CO2 emitted into the atmosphere via a specific car rather than an average statistic. 

This, coupled with real-time driver data and behaviours, delivers transparent carbon emissions information. 

Currently geared towards motorists with internal combustion engines, Karai aims to provide drivers with options on how to offset their carbon emissions by either being carbon neutral or carbon positive.

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