British Politicians Aim To Ban Non-Hybrid Cars By 2040

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This article originally published on Gas2
by Christopher DeMorro

While some American politicians may take issue with the government’s investment in green automobiles, it pales in comparison to the debates taking place in England. There, the Liberal Democrats have proposed a bill that would outlaw all non-hybrid cars from English roads by 2040. It sounds insane, but stranger things have happened.

The Liberal Democrats are the third largest of the three ruling parties in the English parliament, though they hold just 55 out of 650 seats in the House of Commons. They’ve never run the country, though not for a lack of trying, and they are really, really big into the “green” economy. Unfortunately, their ideas usually seem to lack important details, including their recent white paper, “Green Growth and Green Jobs – Transition To A Zero Carbon Britain.”

Ambitious but left with a lot of blanks to fill, one of the key components of the Liberal Dems Britain of the future is eliminating all but ultra-low emissions non-freight vehicles from British roads. That would mean only hybrids, electric cars, or super-efficient diesels would be allowed to drive British streets.

While 2040 is a long way away, this is not the law an industry can adapt to without serious government support. Such a plan would also all but eliminate high-end automobile sales, which would struggle to deliver Prius-like emissions from a Ferrari-esque car. And what of all the classic cars, or older models still on the road? Will these people be banned from driving?

Then again, this is the country that brought us the much-maligned London congestion charge, a costly-but-effective way of reducing traffic and pollution in heavily-trafficked areas. Beijing and Paris are among the other cities working to ban or limit car use in urban areas as concerns about air pollution and quality-of-life supercede the need for automobiles.

The world needs decisive action and creative solutions to combat climate change, don’t get me wrong. But such a policy seems exclusive and poorly considered, and would probably do more to hinder Britain’s economy growth than to aid it. Some automakers could pull out of the English market altogether, and the market for new cars would probably tank.

The Liberal Dems will have to do better than that.

Source: Green Car Reports

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10 thoughts on “British Politicians Aim To Ban Non-Hybrid Cars By 2040

  • That is a somewhat rubbish proposal. In 27 years there won’t be any cars powered by combustion in actual usage. Not even Hybrids. Everything will be electric. we are talking nearly 3 decades. Burning stuff for power won’t be affordable for the average person.

    But I really do want society to preserve some of the cars we have build. There are some that should only be saved for their design. they could be converted to electric. But others need to live with their ICE in running condition. Even if they will only touch the street once a year or so for a classic car show.

    • Correct. These people don’t get it.

  • I agree with eject. In 30 years we won’t have any gas powered cars. The amount if damage we would have to wilfully sustain to allow that to happen makes it completely impossible.

    Now that EVs are available at pretty much every price range, they will be dominating the market.

    I also don’t get the claim that high end cars would all but be gone…the most in demand high end car right now is electric. The Model S. What Tesla has shown is that the car industry’s addiction to fossil fuels was actually holding them back. Redoing an electric car leads to a machine that is better in every way. And the cost hurdle will almost certainly reduce because it is driven by a single component, the battery. A component which also happens to be the one that not only the car industry, govts, research labs, but also the immensely rich and profitable consumer electronics industry are pouring in tons of effort to make cheaper and better.

    And most importantly, a hurdle whose efficiency/cost has grown exponentially the past few years and is expected to do so even without any tech breakthroughs for the next few years.

  • Top end won’t go away. Just better.

    The $1 million Rimac…

    “It took two years for Rimac Automobili to develop this next-generation and the world’s first electric hyper car. With a total of 1,088 horsepower under the hood and ‘All Wheel Torque Vectoring’, Concept One officially joins the exclusive club of supercars like Bugatti roadster Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse.

    The car delivers exceptional driving experience with its low center of gravity, and its 92 kWh heavy battery pack offers 370-mile range, or less if an enthusiast is driving at its top of 190-mph. Further, its interiors have been designed by a team of former Pininfarina designers and a leather specialist, led by Mr. Goran Popvic. And, Rimac will only produce 88 cars in total.”

    And there’s the million dollar Rolls Royce….

  • I don’t understand the authors outrage, but then again I’m British. Seems a very mild proposal to me, comparable to the change from leaded to unleaded petrol (gas), then again if they had said 2014 rather than 2040 that would be radical

  • No need for ICE by 2020, but people don’t want to be told they have to get rid of a car they drive 100 miles per month and is in excellent condition, so will need at least a decade or more to segue to all elec.

    • I’d bet that if ICEVs are banned, it will be a ban on new car sales and not on use.

      There might be a higher fee to register ICEVs. Singapore has done a good job of keeping their streets less polluted by increasing registration fees as cars age rather than dropping them as most places do.

  • ¨… the much-maligned London congestion charge, a costly-but-effective way
    of reducing traffic and pollution in heavily-trafficked areas …¨ It isn´t costly at all to the taxpayer. The charging infrastructure, as London has shown, is cheap if you keep the scheme simple (one big zone and a flat fee, not charges per mile). It raises money for improving public transport. And it´s accepted; the drivers who pay get hardly any traffic jams.

  • All that’s needed is a law that requires liquid or gas fuels be carbon neutral. This way if someone wants to drive an internal combustion engine jalopy they will be paying to remove the CO2 they emit from the atmosphere. So there’s not need to actually ban internal combustion engines, just ban fuel that doesn’t inclued the cost of removing greenhouse gases released. In Australia such a requirement might only add about 10 cents or so to the cost of a liter of gasoline and the fewer internal combustion engine cars there are on the roads the easier this will be to do.

    But what most countries need right now are incentives for people buy fuel efficient cars (including electric cars) and disincentives for people to buy inefficient gasoline burners on account of how cars bought now can be in use for two decades or even more. People are sensitive to the purchase price of cars so tax breaks for fuel efficient ones and tax increases for inefficient ones seems like a sensible choice.

  • Placing a ban on an arbitrary technological basis such as “non-hybrid” is ridiculous – just because it’s a hybrid doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have lower CO2 emissions than a very efficient ICE-only car. Manufacturers of supercars could just put a very small electric motor alongside a very big ICE to get around the rule. We already have taxation of vehicles based on CO2 emissions, which is a very effective measure of sustainability – that can just be shifted more and more in favour of lower-CO2 vehicles as the years pass, such that owning inefficient ICE vehicles eventually becomes impractically expensive for most people (or otherwise kept off-road and only driven at the occasional classic-car show).

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