The sale of petrol and diesel run cars will be history in just over two decades time from now. Michael Gove, who led the initiative, will be the front man for the campaign and introductory discussions about the now confirmed decision. He has recently spoken to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, where he said that ‘he doesn’t think measures to prevent certain vehicles entering city centres are “necessary” (most likely referring to France’s ban on cars that were made before 1997 from entering Paris), adding the Government will work with local authorities to pave the way ahead’.
The next couple of years will be especially hard for the motoring world, not only will the car industry, but the motorcycles industry too will have to undergo drastic changes. Without a doubt there has already been plenty of backlash from both industries, mostly due to the time scale that they feel constrained by.
In this case UK marches alongside France and their twin idea to also stop all production and sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, following French President’s, Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to go ahead with his government’s ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord.
There are also several problematic issues with such bold statements from the government however, not least pertaining to it’s investment into oil exploration, and the sale of motor vehicles between now and 2040. Plus, of course, they’d need to be a major re-think into the road-taxing of electric zero emitting vehicles because currently, those costing less than £40k are free to tax as they fall into the lowest emissions ranking for VED. As the UK negotiates to exit the EU, one wonders if the timing of the 2040 deadline is a clumsy mistake or a deliberate ploy to create the UK it’s own USP after Brexit.
But, what about cars registered before 2040? And their values? There’s no doubting that whether it’ll be 2040 or another date in the future, at some stage we will be migrating over to cleaner energy as technology allows and prices assist. But, will historically registered petrol cars still ahve a 2nd hand sales market? Will the government introduce another scrappage scheme? And what about investment vehicles and cars of historical importance?
The UK, and possibly Europe and beyond will be paying particular attention to the UK’s further announcements on this subject, and experts have suggested that we are possibly 10 or 20 years away from a clear definable strategy yet as well, but that’ll do little to calm the nerves of petrol heads and investors everywhere. So, until that, we should enjoy our cars and driving, in an environmentally as possible way.