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The health costs of air pollution from cars and vans
Close up of car exhaust

In advance of this year’s Clean Air Day researchers at the University of Oxford and University of Bath have produced new research - “The health costs of air pollution from cars and vans”.


The researchers found that the health damage associated with diesel vehicle emissions are around 20 times greater than electric vehicles and at least 5 times greater than those associated with petrol vehicles. The total health cost to the UK from cars and vans is £6 billion each year, with almost 90% of this coming from diesel vehicles.


Using the data from the academic report, we have imagined three alternative transport scenarios and the impact that they could have:


  • If every new car in 2019 were electric it would save more than £325 million in health costs in the first year
    Swapping 1 in 4 car journeys in urban areas for walking or cycling could save over £1.1 billion in health damage costs per year
    Switching 1 million cars from diesel to electric would save more than £360 million per year in health costs from local air pollution



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