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Diesel health costs 20 times higher than BEVs

New research has set out the cost of the damage to our health from cars and vans – with diesels coming out around 20 times higher than battery electric vehicles, according to claims.


The report suggests the cost of the damage to our health caused by the average car in inner cities over its lifetime on the road is £7,714 per car

Carried out by researchers at the University of Oxford and University of Bath, the analysis finds that health impact costs – to the NHS and society at large – are significantly higher for diesel cars and vans compared to petrol, hybrid or electric vehicles over a 14 and nine-year lifetime.

The research suggests the cost of the damage to our health caused by the average car in inner city areas over its lifetime on the road is £7,714 per car, rising to £16,424 for diesels and £24,555 for diesel vans. In contrast, petrol damage costs were found to be £2,327 and £10,101 for cars and vans, respectively while battery electric cars and vans are as little as £827 and £1,443.

The research also suggested that nearly 90% of the total £6bn bill caused by emissions to the NHS and wider society comes from the impact of diesel vehicles and that if every new car in 2019 were electric it would save more than £325m in health costs in the first year.

Dr Christian Brand, associate professor, University of Oxford and UK Energy Research Centre, said: “Cars and vans are responsible for 10,000 early deaths each year, and diesel vehicles are the main problem unfortunately. The valuation of health effects associated with diesel vehicles are at least five times greater than those associated with petrol vehicles, and around 20 times greater than battery electric vehicles. These results raise important questions as to how best to develop effective and fair air quality and transport strategies in urban areas.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.