The lack of recent progress in cleaning urban air can be blamed on the steady increase in diesel vehicles our roads; over half of new cars are now diesel, compared to just 14 percent in 2000. It is harder to control pollution from diesels than from petrol, and for this reason, European standards for diesel exhaust have not been as strict as those from petrol cars. Access to low emission zones in Germany reflect the difference in pollution emissions with open access being permitted for petrol cars made after 1993 but only for the most modern diesels. It is also becoming clear that the technologies to control some types of pollution from diesels are not effective during real-world driving.
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