UK’s clean car goal ‘not ambitious enough’, says professor

Credit: carsdirect.com

One of the sub-headings to this BBC News story is ‘Push and go faster’. That really would be a fuel saver if it worked 😉

The government’s ambition to clean up motor vehicles by 2040 is not ambitious enough, a leading energy expert says.

Professor Jim Watson, head of the prestigious UK Energy Research Centre, said the target should be at least five years earlier, as in Scotland.

The government is currently considering obliging new cars to run on electricity for at least 50 miles by 2040.

The government said it would not discuss the issue before it had published its policy which is due soon.

But ministers are facing competing pressures on the issue. Some UK car firms are telling ministers their proposed targets are unachievable, while others say the targets can easily be reached.

Push and go faster

Professor Watson, who started working life as a car engineer, says the motor industry has a history of saying targets are impossible, then suddenly finding new models to do the job.

“It’s great that they [the government] are having a target, but it could be much more ambitious,” he told BBC News.

“If you push industry further they could go faster.

“Sometimes the car industry has done itself a great disservice by lobbying against environmental standards and then finding itself in trouble when the oil price goes up and people want cleaner, more efficient cars.”

“They should embrace it [a strong target] and ask government to regulate them harder.”

Extinction

Professor Watson was referring to the long campaign by US car makers against tighter efficiency standards – a battle that ended when the manufacturers faced bankruptcy because in part their models were inefficient.

In effect, the US car firms were so successful with lobbying that they nearly lobbied themselves into extinction.

One UK car firm spokesman told me: “We don’t have a good record on this – the industry has cried ‘wolf’ too often in the past.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told BBC News it rejected this suggestion.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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May 21, 2018 at 04:48AM

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