Diesel cars could eventually be phased out in Britain after the Supreme Court ruled that the Government must reduce air pollution.
Britain’s highest court ordered the Department for Environment to submit new air quality plans by the end of the year.
The European Commission has issued millions of pounds of fines to Britain after failing to cut the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
It means that diesel vehicles could be targeted as they emit the largest amount of NO2. It is predicted that motorists will be offered incentives to scrap their vehicle or face hefty taxes.
Edmund King, from the AA, warned that this “demonising of diesel” could “drive down the value of cars dramatically.”
Over the past decade, the number of diesel cars on Britain’s roads has risen from 1.6 million to more than 11 million and accounts for a third of vehicles.
Dangerous nitrogen dioxide levels have been linked to 7000 deaths a year. Currently 38 out of 43 zones in the UK are in breach of the EU Air Quality Directive.
The impact is sure to be felt by businesses and vehicle manufacturers, as well as motorists. The ruling was welcomed by Friends of the Earth, Asthma UK and the British Heart Foundation.