Michael Gove grilled by Hartley-Brewer on car ban cost
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The response came after a range of stakeholders from the motoring industry attacked plans to introduce a ban on the sale of internal combustion engine models from 2030. A number of respondents said transitioning to zero-emissions cars before 2040 would increase costs for consumers with massive upfront costs for the new models a “major barrier” to mass adoption.
Some stakeholders have urged the Government to delay to phase out until upfront costs for electric cars reach parity with models already on the market.
Many respondents warned drivers with lower incomes could face an “affordability cliff edge’ which could price them off the roads.
Meanwhile, manufacturers have piled the pressure onto the Government to ensure there would be sufficient consumer demand if they built more electric cars.
Car brands have warned they would need time to ensure their production lines were economically viable for mass production.
In the meantime, manufacturers would need to rely on a steady stream of income from car sales to stay afloat.
Responding to the concerns, the Department for Transport said they were confident costs will “continue to decrease”.
The report said: “We acknowledge the higher upfront cost of ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) currently on the market relative to equivalent ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.
“These higher costs are a barrier for many consumers when considering purchasing a new ZEV.
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They added: “We are confident that cost of ownership for ZEVs will continue to decrease as upfront costs fall, and that they will look increasingly attractive from a total cost of ownership perspective.
“To incentivise ZEV uptake, the Spending Review confirmed further funding for the continuation of the plug-in vehicle grants to 2022 to 2023. This is in addition to tax incentives available.”
However, Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK attacked the Government for “making assumptions” about future car prices.
He warned future electric car rollouts would require “taxpayer-funded incentives” and claimed the report was made to please environmental groups and not motorists.
He said: “The Government are making assumptions about the cost of EVs coming down due to consumer pressure.
“UK battery demand will hit 140 Gwh per year and will need seven Gigafactory’s.
“Both predictions are Enid Blyton fantasies and will require huge taxpayer-funded incentives and a massive consumer buy in to come true.
“The whole report is biased towards appeasing a group of well-financed environmental groups, who want to destroy a freedom of transport, that is already getting cleaner each and every year.
“No cliff edge politically based targets are needed, let science dictate how we drive.”
The Government announced the petrol and diesel car ban as part of the Government’s green industrial revolution in November last year.
Under the proposals, plug-in hybrid cars can be sold until 2035 when only fully-electric models can be sold brand new.
Express.co.uk have contacted the DfT regarding the claims.
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