Volkswagen was caught out in 2015 for cheating on its emissions tests, leading as we all know to the Dieselgate scandal. The company — or rather the entire VW Group — is still dealing with the consequences of its actions, but the consequences are actually extending way beyond the boardrooms of Wolfsburg, Stuttgart or Ingolstadt. Where once everyone was focused on CO2 emissions, the scandal made everyone look at nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions instead. Diesel vehicles have lower CO2 emissions than petrol vehicles, hence many people switched to diesel when governments and environmental groups worldwide told them it was a good idea. And diesel engines travel further, which is always a good incentive. Now diesel is bad. Not because of CO2, it is still better than petrol, but because of NOx, and suddenly governments, municipalities and lobby groups are turning on diesel as though they have just discovered that it is petrol’s evil twin that has been trying to kill us quietly all along. Dif...

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