Britain To Ban Petrol Cars

Posted on Thu 07/27/2017 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

Here’s yet another green policy that hurts the poor, and from a “Conservative” government.

It’s to cut emissions of nitrogen dioxide, which can cause respiratory problems, but global warming activists love this ban, too:

UK environment secretary Michael Gove has announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in Britain by 2040.

This means buyers will have to buy electric cars that are for now much more expensive:

Subsidies clearly drive sales for EVs, which are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles… In fact, a 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer EV subsidies… How much must we subsidize our wealthiest families, to save us from manmade planetary disasters that exist only in Al Gore movies and alarmist computer models?

That – and their user unfriendliness – is why few people buy them when they have a choice and when they aren’t subsidised:

The Hong Kong government’s decision to scrap a tax break for electric vehicles has had a dramatic effect on sales of Tesla cars in the city, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Data analysis from The Journal has shown that zero new Tesla Model S sedans and Model X SUVs were registered with the transport department in April, after the vehicle-registration tax waiver for electrics was discontinued at the start of that month.

Following that, just five privately owned electric cars were registered in May.

So far, then, it’s looking like a typical green policy that bullies people into doing what they’d rather not, and which costs the poor most of all.

Plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to buy electric vehicles are a “tall order” and will place unprecedented strain on the National Grid, motoring experts have warned. The AA warned that the National Grid would be under pressure to “cope with a mass switch-on after the evening rush hour”, while Which? Car magazine warned that electric cars are currently more expensive and less practical.

According to a National Grid report, peak demand for electricity will add around 30 gigawatts to the current peak of 61GW – an increase of 50 per cent.

But does it meet that final test of green policies – to actually cause the opposite of what’s intended?

So far the signs are promising. Matt Ridley says the planet won’t win:

Building an electric car generates considerably more carbon dioxide than creating a comparable petrol model because so much energy is required for the mining and processing of lithium, nickel and other materials for the battery. The battery accounts for more than half the cradle-to-grave emissions created by an electric car. Fuelling that car from a coal-fired grid like China’s or India’s makes the emissions even worse.

With Europe’s mix of generating capacity — less coal, more gas, more wind and more nuclear — an electric vehicle does emit less carbon dioxide over its lifetime than a comparable petrol or diesel vehicle, but not by a large margin. As one study concluded: “We find that electric vehicles powered by the European electricity mix reduce (global warming potential) by 26 per cent to 30 per cent relative to gasoline … and 17 per cent to 21 per cent relative to diesel.”

Then there is the question of where the extra electricity is to come from. In recent years we have struggled to build enough power stations for existing users, let alone adding all cars and heating too, for that is the plan. Britain’s cars travel about 650 billion km a year. Assuming the use of very small Nissan Leaf-style vehicles, that distance would add an extra 16 per cent of demand to our electricity grid.

If we want the new capacity to be low-carbon — and since we cannot seem to get our act together on nuclear, and solar works poorly at this latitude, especially in winter — then how many wind turbines would be needed to generate that much extra electricity? About 10,000 onshore or 5000 offshore, requiring, in Britain, a subsidy of at least £2 billion ($3.4bn), more than double the size of the UK’s existing wind farm estate. Yikes…

Finally, remember that — globally at least — 40 per cent of road transport fuel is used by trucks, not cars, so electrifying all cars still leaves a big chunk to tackle. In short, electric cars are a great technology but almost trivial as a climate policy.

Then there’s this:

If the policy meant that even private sellers couldn’t sell cars that run on fossil fuels, it would mean that people are left owning a vehicle, potentially worth thousands of pounds, that they are unable to sell.

Or else the poor will hold on longer to their petrol car – which with time become more polluting.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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