Belgian Petrol Federation: ‘don’t ban diesel in Brussels’
In its latest memorandum, the Belgian Petrol Federation and its Secretary General, Jean-Pierre Van Dijk, plead for technology neutrality to stop diesel bashing.
According to him, new diesel cars’ NOx emissions will be comparable to the ones from electric cars in 2030. The Federation also pleads for time to develop bio and e-fuels, and for the kilometre tax to impact electric cars as well.
Prove diesel and petrol having a future
It would be unusual for the Belgian Federation for Petrol to stop promoting products derived from petroleum and jump on the sustainable bandwagon.
This new memorandum backed by studies is a way for the federation to prove that diesel and petrol still have their places, even though the majority of politicians are aiming at diesel bashing.
In Belgium, petrochemistry is an important business and on the 23 million tons of petrol consumed in the country, 8,5 million are dedicated to transport.
‘Stop diesel bashing’
One of the major points of the Federation’s memorandum is the worry about the image of diesel. After the dieselgate scandal, all cars using that fuel are seen as dirty, even new ones.
Politicians, governments and cities are even trying to ban them completely. “We ask for the legislation to stay open to all technologies”, explains Secretary General Jean-Pierre Van Dijk, “EU car makers have proven that new cars can reduce their NOx emissions by five or even ten times.”
Comparable to electric cars?
The text even puts forwards that new diesel cars will have comparable NOx emissions to electric cars in 2030. In an interview by the newspaper La Libre, the Secretary General comes back on that statement.
“We can say that new diesel will have low NOx emissions while electric cars will have ultra-low emissions, which doesn’t change anything at a global level”, he adds.
No diesel bans
In this memorandum, the Federation and its Secretary General ask the Brussels government – and any other governments for that matter – not to ban diesel on the simple fact that it used to pollute more.
“Before, the automotive sector was far out of the regulations, but the new Euro6d norms will have to be respected because of the real world emissions tests“, adds Jean-Pierre Van Dijk.
The next step will be the development of biofuels or even e-fuels. “For now, they’re very expensive but so were batteries fifteen years ago.
We must have the opportunity to do our researches, to innovate, to check whether these solutions are viable”, continues the Secretary General, “e-fuels didn’t exist five years ago but we see many new actors interested in them and trying to develop them.”
Kilometre and carbon tax
If the kilometre tax is introduced in the near future, as governments and politicians are talking about it, Jean-Pierre Van Dijk estimates that it should impact all cars. “When you’re blocking the Law Street in Brussels (Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat) with a diesel or an electric car, the result is the same. You’re still blocking the road”, declares Mr Van Dijk.
If a carbon tax ever sees the light of day, the Federation and its Secretary General estimate that taxes on fuel should be reduced to reach budget neutrality. “Otherwise, politicians will have to admit that they’re raising taxes”, ends the Secretary General.