In July last year, the Government announced that conventional diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned from 2040 as part of efforts to tackle air pollution.
Driving into work this morning I was surprised to hear there have been calls for this ban to be brought forward, as the 2040 target “lacks sufficient ambition”.
The idea sounds great but in my opinion, the practicality for the manufacturers of only selling alternatively fuelled vehicles in the UK may take longer than twelve years.
There are many reasons why the scheme is being launched in the UK, with air quality cited as the cause of an estimated 40,000 premature deaths each year and purportedly also contributing to respiratory issues, heart disease, and even dementia.
The ongoing problem with car emissions, mainly nitrogen dioxide, started with the Volkswagen scandal in 2015. Uncertainty surrounding diesel has led to a decline in the fuel type’s market share from 47 per cent in 2016 to 37.8 per cent in 2017.
I can’t help but feel that yes, there is need for change BUT this needs to be carefully planned and not rushed by MP’s as it will have a huge impact on the future of the automotive industry. With around 169,000 people employed directly in manufacturing, and around 814,000 people employed across the wider automotive industry, the learning and implementation curve of these changes across businesses will be steep - even with a goal of 2040.
In a report on air quality published today, a joint inquiry by a number of UK parliamentary committees has heavily criticised the Government’s approach to UK e-mobility across the country. Renault Zoe According to the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, air pollution cuts short an estimated 40,000 lives across Britain each year, costing the UK an annual £20 billion ($28 billion). Children, the elderly, and those with existing medical conditions are at the greatest risk. One of the major factors is road transport, which is responsible for 80 percent of roadside NO2 concentrations.