We know a General Election is on the horizon when creating policy on the hoof prevails. Policies that should have been delivered and in place before.
This week’s pronouncement by Rishi Sunak in moving the sales ban of new diesel and petrol cars to 2035 is a case in point. The PM knew full well that the 2030 ban, among many of his un-Conservative policies, will cost him the 2024 election.
What is more than sad, is this Government’s belief that this five-year moratorium will still make any difference to the air we breathe or in saving the planet.
Putting taxpayers’ money into the electric vehicle camp is fiscally foolish. EV battery manufacture is Government subsidised, only the rich and fleet operators can afford them.
Only an enforced ban of the competition can give them any success, and they are free of any road user taxation. Meanwhile, diesel and petrol drivers remain one the highest-taxed road users in the world.
Electric cars are technologically magnificent, but they should not be thrust upon drivers as our only future road transport choice.
Other clean fuel technologies should be incentivised, and the best of them should be allowed to surface to the top commercially profitably, and completely organically.
Most certainly not via political edicts based on an ill-informed net-zero fantasy. I coined the analogy a few years back that electric vehicles are like the Betamax of road transport choices.
A recording tape technology that could not compete with its main rival, VHS. And in a report that will hit every MP’s desk in the next few days produced by the Motorcycle Action Group, the Alliance of British Drivers and FairFuelUK, battery-powered electric vehicles have little – or indeed no CO² advantage – over internal combustion engine vehicles.
In fact, manufacturing a “pure” battery-powered vehicle creates more CO² than an equivalent fossil-fuelled car, in some cases up to 74 percent more.
And I have not even touched on the fact that EVs demonstrate little cleaner air advantage over internal combustion engine vehicles unless they are resourced, constructed, utilised, and disposed of using the “cleanest” possible power sources. This means nuclear power is the only possible option.
So as a long-time driver’s campaigner that has successfully prevented fuel duty rises since 2010, I call upon this cabinet and future Government Ministers to wake up and smell the coffee.
Mr Starmer be warned. Re-installing the 2030 ban will deliver you an unstable minority Government and a hell of a missed opportunity to show that you are in touch with fiscal common sense and the grassroots of this nation.
So please follow your EU masters that recognise a 2030 ban is a target that is completely unattainable.