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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