Zero emission tech experts Dearman have backed Treasury minister Robert Jenrick, who has today called to “level the playing field” as he launches a consultation into red diesel use.
Ministers are increasingly keen to tackle Britain’s air pollution problem. This includes reviewing tax measures that undermine British-made clean technologies that government has invested in.
Red diesel, the same formula as standard diesel but with significantly reduced tax levied on it, is generally used for non-road purposes. However, a loophole means that it can also be used on the road, for example to power the diesel cooling engine on a truck or trailer delivering refrigerated and frozen food, .
Clean tech companies including Dearman have long argued that Treasury subsidies for cheaper red diesel disincentivise uptake of clean technologies, and that rectifying this could help boost Britain’s air quality.
The company points out that, for example, there are 26,000 refrigerated trucks in Britain that have a weakly-regulated second engine powered by red diesel. By encouraging these 26,000 trucks to adopt zero emission second engines instead, Britain could reduce its particulate matter emissions by the equivalent of 3.2 million diesel cars.
The red diesel call for evidence was announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement back in March.
Launching it today, Treasury minister Robert Jenrick said:
“Public health is at risk due to the use of red diesel in towns and cities. So we are looking at how we can level the playing field on red diesel and exploring how we can encourage users to ditch it.”
Commenting, Dearman’s Director of Special Projects, David Rivington, said:
“The minister is absolutely right to highlight the urban use of cheaper red diesel as a problem. Britain has an air pollution crisis, and although government has commendably invested in a number of affordable clean technologies, the business case for fleet operators ‘going green’ in cities is made less attractive by costly and unnecessary government subsidies. Launching this consultation is a first step to giving British-made clean technologies the level playing field they deserve.”