Car Manufacturers Could Be ‘Forced’ To Stop Selling Polluting Cars

Polluting Cars: Car Manufacturers Could Be 'Forced' To Stop Selling

The automotive industry has warned that car manufacturers could be ‘forced’ to stop selling polluting cars in the UK. This is due to upcoming restrictions on carbon emissions…

A Clash With The Nation’s Tastes

The need to meet post-Brexit emissions targets could force automakers to remove polluting models from sale. This would clash with the tastes of British drivers who often favour higher-emission SUVs. Under new legislation from the EU, average carbon dioxide emissions must fall below 95g a kilometre. This will affect all members of the Single Market and, despite Brexit, the UK. Car manufacturers that fail to meet these targets will face eye-watering fines. As it stands, smaller and less-polluting cars have somewhat offset more fuel-inefficient SUVs. But at the end of January, when the UK copies the EU’s rules, this will change; leaving targets harder to meet.

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of SMMT, speculated whether reduced model ranges would go beyond the premium segment. He said, “it could be that you see a reduction in consumer choice through the removal of higher-emitting vehicles from not just the top end, but particular segments”. For automakers, the situation is a tricky one. On the one hand, the affected vehicles are some of their most profitable; but a failure to remove them would be financially punishing. The environmental benefits, however, could be significant. Cars, after all, produce around 18% of the UK’s emissions.

Will It Work?

Carmakers that fail to meet the new targets will be forced to pay £83 for every gram of CO2 they go over the limit; multiplied by annual car sales. The current average in the UK is 127.9g a kilometre. Al Bedwell, an analyst at the car consultancy LMC Automotive, expects fines will result in some polluting cars being withdrawn from the market. However, he argued that this wouldn’t be sufficient in promoting the update of fully-electric vehicles. He said, “you can’t suddenly create a perfect environment to sell enough BEVs to make the problem go away”.

The Department for Transport reaffirmed its commitment to ‘Road to Zero’. In a statement it said, “we have set out bold plans for driving down CO2 emissions and committed in our ‘Road to Zero’ strategy to pursue vehicle emissions regulation that is at least as ambitious as the current arrangements as we leave the EU”. Either way, influencing markets in this way is a very unusual move. Legislators have, in effect, recognised the failure of consumers to comply with their emission goals. 

The Popularity Of SUVs Is Making A ‘Mockery’ Of Emission Legislation –

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