The continuing collapse of the car industry

Car sales in China fell 92% in the latest figures reflecting the closures and stay at home advice in that epidemic torn country. Meanwhile EU plans to accelerate the shift to electric cars is hitting diesel and petrol sales in Europe.

Countries are falling over each other to cut demand for petrol and diesel vehicles with steep car purchase taxes geared to output of CO2. French sales fell sharply in January by 13% on the back of new higher taxes. UK diesel car sales are well down over the last year thanks to higher VED and threats of more taxes and regulations to come. Germany is imposing bans on older diesels from entering various cities. The new EU Commission intends to make a frontal assault on CO2 the centrepiece of its economic and industrial strategy.

Even in the USA where the government does not share EU fervour against CO2 car sales fell last year. The industry is wrestling with the shift to electric, the more draconian environmental regulations, higher taxes and a strike by many buyers not persuaded by the new ideas.

On top of this a new generation of urban dwellers doubts they need to own a car, whilst some look forward to a future when many more will hire a car when they need it, slashing the number of cars required to sit in the garage or in on street parking for most of their lives.

It is unusual for governments to set out to damage a big industry like this in quite such a concerted way. It is even more unusual for the industry to accept it and to collaborate as freely with the demise of its existing products and method of working. I find it odd the industry in the UK lobbied so hard against Brexit which was not designed to damage it, yet does not lobby against the many EU policies determined to close all factories making diesel and petrol cars as quickly as possible. It means writing off huge amounts of sunk capital and firing many workers. It is also possible the winners in the electric car wars will be new companies.

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157 Comments

  1. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Ministers and industrialists need to do their homework on whether CO2 is really the threat so often assumed instead of listening to noisy pressure groups and a schoolgirl – how can it be such a demon when over much of pre-history CO2 levels were more than 10 times those of today with no ill-effect?

    It was depressing to hear BP’s new CEO joining the lemming-like rush to ‘zero carbon’. Relevant industries need to proclaim loud and clear “there is no cliamte emergency, we do not need to curtail CO2 and indeed the rise in the gas is beneficial in stimulating food output.”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Sensible scientists already know that a little more CO2 is, on balance, probably a net good. But this does not fit the agenda of governments. They want an excuse for even more government, more regulations and more taxation.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        The establishment elite want less people crowding their planet, and more ways to make less of the masses. They are in favour of more controls over us, while they enjoy luxurious travel and don’t bother to estimate their own use of allegedly polluting energy. Nor does it bother them because they know CC is a scam.

        The NWO is a real UN agenda, and well on it’s way to happening.

      • Martin R
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        The norm over geologic time has been CO2 levels not just a little higher than at present, but many times higher. We are in CO2 famine now and CO2 is at a ridiculously low level. That is why it has to be measured in parts per million. It is the only way people can be frightened by it. One over two thousand five hundredth part of the atmosphere. If that isn’t an extremely rare trace gas I’ll eat my hat. We need much more.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Climate realists and sensible transport, energy or indeed other engineers seem to be banned on the BBC even the female ones. Male scientists and engineers seem to be virtually banned by the BBC anyway. Something to do with “diversity” guidelines I suppose. But this does not extend to diversity of opinions it seems. Sensible opinions are largely banned too.

        The more I think about the corona virus numbers the more worrying it looks. Especially as so many can be infect by one person before the person even knows they have it (and with several doctors infected too and some deaths of health and young people too). I very much hope I am wrong.

        At least this might distract the BBC and government from their absurd, incessant & deluded climate alarmist agenda I suppose. There are far more important and urgent risks around to deal with.

      • DavidJ
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, all about control of people by a self declared “elite” who somehow think that they will continue their own extravagant lifestyles. Perhaps they should consider they are sowing the seeds of revolution.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Doubtless once it become clear no calamity is round the corner at all the politicians, soothsayers, BBC and all the alarmists will claim credit for having staved off the non existent problem with their non solutions (like renewables and electric cars that save no significant C02 anyway).

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      There were no humans that far back in deep time to be affected.

      However, CO2 levels are now 45% higher that they were in pre-industrial times, equating to a layer around six metres thick rather than four.

      The essential-for-life ozone would be just a few millimetres thick, for comparison.

      • glen cullen
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        The UK CO2 level is down to 1890 level – fact …source BEIS

        Whats the source of your data ref 45% higher ?

        • hefner
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          I think you are confusing the level of UK emissions with the actual atmospheric concentration.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            UK policies are based on UK emissions.

          • glen cullen
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            I believe its always wise to quote the source of any data

          • hefner
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            GC, http://www.CarbonBrief.org confirms that the present level of UK CO2 emissions is down to what it was in 1890.

          • hefner
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            From the time series of CO2 atmospheric concentration measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory started by David Keeling (www.pmel.noaa.gov), 1958 had 315 ppm, 2019 had 410 ppm.
            Otherwise, http://www.sealevel.info have 280 ppm in 1850, 295 ppm in 1890 and 410 ppm now (with references about CO2 concentration measurements pre-Mauna Loa).

    • jerry
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wilson; I think it is rather simplistic to expect oil and gas companies not to follow their investors who are behaving like lemmings when it comes to CO₂, no listed company can exist should investors withdraw their money, which some are threatening to do.

      Perhaps if we had a better regulated media industry (thinking more of TV and radio), meaning for example, the BBC and their environment analyst [1] would have to give equal time and weight to both sides of the same issue, not as they do now, ten minutes of pure pro AGW waffle and a one sentence short rebuffle at the end in an attempt to call the package/article balanced (rather than thinly disguised eco-activism it really is).

      [1] ITV, ITN, Ch4, Ch5 and Sky are no better

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      This drive to demonise consumption by consumers goes back at least 30 years. Much of the green movement was driven by British nationals in the 1990s. It was taken up by the left, acquired rocket boosters under the Blair government culminating in the Climate Change Act. Some strong advocates held positions of influence at the UN. Public opinion was moved over time by sophisticated, partly government funded, PR wcampaigns. The EU actively promoted the agenda. That included it’s disastrous, misguided push to switch from petrol to diesel fuel on which they have already made an about turn. Given the unsoundness of the foundations on which the whole push to electrification is based (that man made CO2 is the cause of global warming (remember that mantra?), the whole approach is a scam. Unfortunately there is zero evidence that the Johnson government intends to halt the lemming-like rush to the cliff edge.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        @oldtimer – I would suggest that less consumption by 7 (plus) billion people on a planet with finite resources would be a good thing.

        Less pollution and waste too.

        I do not think that pressure groups should be determining who and what is reduced, this should be led by individuals.

    • Pud
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Greta Thunberg is not only a school child, but one who has missed a lot of her education by bunking off to attend protests. Despite this, the cult of Greta treats her as an expert in a complicated subject. This can only be because she is parroting the “correct” message. How many of us would honestly give any credence to a child of Thunberg’s age who claimed they had designed an energy producing fusion reactor or had discovered the cure for cancer?

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      A Nasa study has found that there has been a significant greening of the planet in the last 20 years , this they put down to higher CO2 levels, a warmer climate , and more rain , all what we are told are the ills of global warming. So if you want to go green burn hydrocarbons.

      • glen cullen
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        And that same reports indicated that the new greening land mass is the equivalent size of Alaska…..never reported on the BBC

    • acorn
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Did you know that this planet is currently reverting to a Pliocene Epoch atmosphere caused by a CO2 level of 413 ppm. In its current orbital position, it should historically be 280 ppm for the next 15,000 years or so before heading back down to circa 200 ppm in about 75,000 years time (Milanković cycles). Current solar radiation is about the same today as it was in the year 1900; dropping from its recent high in 1960.

      Hence, the rest of the planet’s component parts are trying to catch up at warp 9; oceans; forests; ice-sheets etc. All needing a lot more heat to be shifted around the planet balance sheet, using more and larger storms.

    • Richard
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Richard Lindzen’s ‘The Iris Effect’: (“the fact that upper level tropical cirrus shrinks with increasing surface temperature… sufficient to more than cancel the commonly assumed water vapor feedback essential to predictions of high climate sensitivity” http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/06/09/25290/#comment-1027943 )has been expanded on by Peter Ridd (of Great Barrier Reef fame). https://www.thegwpf.com/the-next-climate-change-the-facts-book-towards-a-new-theory-of-climate/

      The mathematical flaw at the heart of every IPCC cited model, and why they are all “running hot” has been known since c. 2011. The mathematical proof is not complicated and, if wrong, could easily be disproved. (See Youtube “The Error in Climatology – June 24, 2018” For non-mathematicians, the project team behind this are at 0.25 and the conclusions are at 33.50. The maths proof is also stated here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/03/reporting-the-fraudulent-practices-behind-global-warming-science/ ).

      During the Holocene, large climate swings occurred with no CO2 change. https://www.c3headlines.com/2013/08/arctic-extreme-climate-temperature-change-naturally-happen-co2-trivial-force.html

      Antarctic researcher Joanne Nova: “The bottom line is that rising temperatures cause carbon levels to rise… [with a 800-2,800 year lag] If both factors caused each other to rise significantly, positive feedback would become exponential. We’d see a runaway greenhouse effect. It hasn’t happened. Some other factor is more important than carbon dioxide, or carbon’s role is minor.”

      • hefner
        Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Richard, As you reference it, I suppose you read and understood Monckton’s paper listed at the end of the wattsupwiththat.com post. Could you please clarify for me the gist of the mathematical proof. Thanks a lot in advance.

      • Richard
        Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, As explained on Youtube, using IPCC model assumptions, the models feedback factor is 6x too big, so cannot be anything like the 85% of total warming that IPCC models assume. Monte Carlo runs give <1.25C per doubling of CO2. Happy to rely on Prof W M Briggs et al.

        Similarly, Prof Stallinga recently said doubling CO2 yields a warming of less than 0.5°C. And "positive feedback comes inevitably out [their models], since they start with the assumption that temperature must result from carbon dioxide". https://notrickszone.com/2020/02/13/physics-professor-co2s-0-5c-impact-after-rising-to-700-ppm-is-so-negligible-its-effectively-unmeasurable/ (Page41 of PDF)

  2. steve
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    JR

    “….the many EU policies determined to close all factories making diesel and petrol cars as quickly as possible.”

    Forgive me for seeming ill-informed JR, but are you suggesting the government’s banning of petrol and diesel engines is an EU directive ?

    A reply from you would be most appreciated. A simple yes or no would be fine.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      It seems to be an EU objective anyway!

      • Fred H
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        all ganging up on the German car industry to make bailouts even harder.? Fascinating to watch the suicide.

      • Hope
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Steve, the U.K. is in vassalage to the EU without a voice or veto accepting and implementing all its rules and laws, what do you think? Rather a daft question to be honest or simply unaware of the current position.

        Why do you think the civil service was caught on camera claiming it had a Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU? Any action taken against them? No, Robbins was knighted other sent to the Lords!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Since your preferred relationship with the European Union would involve heavy tariffs on our exports of cars to it, in what way is leaving it any help?

      Nor will it be bound by any directives from it under Johnson’s, so the point of your question is unclear.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        We are offering tariff free trade so it is unlikely the EU will refuse our kind offer.
        If the EU did want to add tariffs it would hurt the German and French car industries far more than the UK if we added equal tariffs on their imports.

    • BJC
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Steve: Reading between the lines, we could indeed conclude it’s part of the EU’s environmental policy, which I believe we’re required to follow during “transition”. The extreme measures the UK is proposing, however, could be interpreted as a certain defiance, designed to give a short, sharp shock to bring the EU to its collective sense before it causes irrevocable damage across Europe. Mind you, the EU has never been renowned for its common sense!

      What this does highlight, of course, is how dangerous it would be to tie ourselves inexorably to the past or the plodding EU mindset. Things change on the spin of a coin and we need the flexibility and agility to respond independently.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you could consider the simplest explanation. It is that they are incapable of thinking for themselves and just copy other governments’ policies regardless of how unsound and suicidal they are. Surely it is abundantly clear now that the one thing are not prepared to do is listen to reason.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      This week Hyundai have announced they will be building a new car engine factory in Russia,just outside St Petersburg,to be complete late 2021.

      In return South Korea is getting a 10% increase in it’s fishing catch quotas in the Russian Pacific EEZ.

      • dixie
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        How interesting, perhaps SK might be interested in bidding such an arrangement for some UK EEZ fishing quota since the French, Dutch and Spanish don’t want to negotiate anymore.

    • Steve Reay
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      They’re not trying to close the factories only trying to change the model mix to hybrids and Evs.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

    You say:- It is unusual for governments to set out to damage a big industry like this in quite such a concerted way. Well we also have the current government currently actively trying to kill the private property letting industry. This with restrictive bank lending rules, absurdly high stamp duty and the taxation of “profits” that are not even being made. Why one earth are they doing this?

    The push to electric cars is being made too early. Current electric cars are absurdly expensive, depreciate rapidly, have very limited range and take far too long to recharge. When you take into account the energy used to build them and the production of energy to charge them then they probably produce more CO2 than keeping you old car running. So why on earth are government pushing them? The one advantage they have is that they take pollution out of the city but a plug in hybrid that can do say 30 miles on a battery (or other clean solutions) is a far better solution given current technology.

    As I said before an electric car might only use about £1000 of electrical energy during its life (electric cars tend to be low mileage cars) yet building it and delivering it might use more than five times this (in fossil fuel energy). So how exactly is green or even saving CO2? Not that CO2 is really a problem anyway.

    • Stred
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      The biggest threat to the private letting sector is the re introduction of security of tenure by removing section 21, as in the Queens speech. Many small landlords are now selling before they find it impossible to get their investment back. The government is planning a huge CGT grab so that it will possible to waste it on white elephant projects. Possibly, there will be a house price crash and eventually more private owners able to pay the low interest rates on mortgages.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        I agree Stred who is going to want to rent when they can’t just have a one year rental agreement with termination date. Sometimes people only rent if they have to work away on a one year project and pay rent elsewhere and can’t afford the mortgage and rent. Why that’s not allowed in Scotland is beyond me if both parties want that?

      • Hope
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        LL, suggest you read articles in Con Woman on the govts policy on climate change.

        Irish people protesting last week at a housing development that houses should be for the Irish not immigrants! Mass immigration is an EU policy heralded by Merkel! Other protests across EU countries for similar reasons. This is to rid EU of nation states. Wake up.

      • Bob
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        @Stred
        These are the kind of policies you would expect from Jeremy Corbyn.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Or Ed (Tombstone) Miliband or other daft socialist like May/Cameron essentially just theft of people’s hard earned assets to try to buy votes off others.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          It also destroys investment in the sector and thus harms would be tenants too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed that seems to be their totally idiotic agenda. Lots more work for parasitic lawyers I suppose.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      In case you have not noticed, the country has recently been seriously affected by flooding, caused by an unprecedented run of very wet weather – many records being broken.

      Most people accept that – on a balance of probabilities – diligent work by learned scientists is onto something about Man’s activities contributing to this.

      Governments are understandably managing the politics of the position.

      These policy announcements are a part of that, I think.

      • Matt
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Then reduced consumption caused by Brexit must be a welcome thing.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Maybe if the Environment Agency changed its adherence to the EU Water Directive and its, do nothing to disturb nature policy ,we might reduce the number of people affected by floods.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Property letting (or “lettin” in the current Labour vernacular) is a service, not an industry. It creates nothing from scratch, zero, zilch. It might provide an efficient means by which others can move to an area to produce something , but it itself produces nothing.

  4. Mark B
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Whilst I believe that current policies towards the motor industry and drivers is bonkers, you have to stop and think where this is all going ?

    Fossil fuels are not going to last forever. So both the industry and consumers are going to have to adapt. We are you g to have to accept that mankind never always had the means for fast, efficient and regular modes of transport. Whether it be car, train or plane it has only been available to the masses in the last 100 years, with private ownership even less than that !

    As the rest of the world, and especially China and India become more affluent, the populace will too place great demand on private transport. This may increase demand there but, the rising cost of fuel in Western countries will drive out most owners. We will then be back to the point of where we were at the beginning of the last century, where only the wealthy can afford to own and run private transport. The rest of us will be forced off and will have to either go without or use public transport.

    I would imagine the car industry grudgingly accepts this. Lower volume sales but higher prices.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Your point is well made, I’d go further, our host wonders why the industry hasn’t made much fuss. Well, we can deduce that they are both aware of the plans and agree with them. Most of the big manufacturers already have electrification in their model lines, with more to come, even Aston-Martin! Further, they expect a purchasing bonanza when the rules do force us to replace; and greater automation.
      The problem lies with supply of electricity, but maybe the government knows of an imminent breakthrough of supply and storage too…. Interesting times.

      • agricola
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        Possibly Fusion Energy is more advanced than we realise, but is a single source of energy and effectively one switch in the hands of government the wisest democratic path forward. Who can you trust in government to be in control of your life support. There are many who contribute here whose hand I would not want in control of my ICU.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Hinckley Point… we know it’s nuclear, and it is VERY expensive, but is it fusion or fission… ? hey-ho!

          • steve
            Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            Peter Wood

            It will be fission, possibly breeder.

            You only get fusion from a thermonuclear weapon i.e hydrogen bomb.

        • Brigham
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Fusion energy is a very nice idea, but I think it is a long way off. I don’t think we are any nearer controlling plasma than we were 50 years ago, and cold fusion is pie in the sky.

      • steve
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Peter Wood

        “Well, we can deduce that they are both aware of the plans and agree with them.”

        The industry is participating in the con. Cheap to make (otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it), great control over product lifespan. generally a piece of soul-less crap, and of course the added advantage of dumping millions of tons of highly toxic spent heavy metallic elements on some poor third world country.

        And then there’s the charge retailers. What a lovely opportunity to form a massive cartel – pulling off the grid at dirt cheap prices and selling on to consumers at mega profit. No one should believe this will not happen, because it will.

        • James Bertram
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          ‘dumping millions of tons of highly toxic spent heavy metallic elements on some poor third world country.
          Good point, Steve.
          There is an article on ForeignPolicy.com ‘ The Limits of Clean Energy: If the world isn’t careful, renewable energy could become as destructive as fossil fuels.’
          The World Bank began to look at this in 2017, and British Scientists submitted a report to UK Government this year.
          ‘…’The real issue is that this [additional mining] will exacerbate an already existing crisis of overextraction. Mining has become one of the biggest single drivers of deforestation, ecosystem collapse, and biodiversity loss around the world. Ecologists estimate that even at present rates of global material use, we are overshooting sustainable levels by 82 percent…’

        • Bob
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          @PW
          Just as with laser printers the money is made on the consumables i.e. toner cartridges.

          The preponderance of battery powered gadgets nowadays has created huge demand for batteries. Battery manufacturers must be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of vehicle electrification.

          Maybe the batteries will be manufactured in the developing world, thus furthering the UN Agenda 21 objectives.

        • Martin R
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Electric cars are not cheap to make. They are considerably more expensive because the battery packs with thousands of cells in them are hugely costly. Car makers make no money on EV’s and only manufacture them because they are absolutely forced to by emissions legislation, with politicos believing in their silly fantasies that EV’s produce little or no emissions.

        • DaveK
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Once the scam is over, they will just go back to fossil fuel propelled vehicles. The comment about a petroleum CEO is not an illustration of agreement. Nearly all of them are also involved in ruinables. There are centuries worth of fossil fuels left and with technological advances who knows what developments will ensue.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Well we have plenty of fossil fuels for many years to come (especially coal) by which time we will perhaps have better nuclear power or even have sorted nuclear fusion. Also we will by then have better batteries and be able to synthesise new replacements for fossil fuels economically using nuclear energy.

      Technology and the market will solve the problems just fine.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        Coal and indeed plenty of natural gas too.

        • Hope
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          Tory Govt stopped fracking! But happy to be in hock to China for a Hinkley when China is building more coal fired power stations than any other nation and emits 28 percent of world CO2!

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        There is indeed plenty of oil,gas,coal but look who controls most of the reserves.A large part is contained in the countries that the west does not control but has tried -and failed-to control-Russia,Iran,Venezuela,etc (plus those that have been destroyed in the process-Libya,Iraq).See also President Trump’s infamous comment on the American non-withdrawal from Syria recently -“We’re gonna keep the oil;I like oil.”

        The west is also effectively bust-it exists on printing money-what if these nations no longer want intrinsically worthless western printed money for their physical product?Russia and China are de-dollarizing;Iran and Venezuela are operating outside the $ system.

        I saw one historically shrewd commentator coin a new expression for this possible situation this month -peak FREE oil!

    • DennisA
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Fossil fuels are not going to last forever.

      Peak oil has been the meme for a 100 years. In the 19th century, there were serious debates about peak coal. Reserves of both are there for centuries and if the abiogenic theory is correct, then oil will never run out.

      • hefner
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Trofim, just what is needed on this website, a believer in the abiogenic theory of oil formation. Splendid.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Well the pessimistic peak oil theory proponents have been proved completely wrong in every single prediction they have made since 1960.
          We now still have huge reserves of cheap oil.
          New reserves are being discovered every year.
          Still the warmists believe oil will run out soon.

          • hefner
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            Has that anything to do with the abiogenic theory of oil formation?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            Well the forst post by Dennis was about false claims over decades by warmists that oil would run out.
            Then you twisted Denis’s words with your response.
            He didn’t say he was “a believer in abiogenic theory of oil production ”
            You made that up that bit.

          • hefner
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            Given it was Dennis’A’s post, I was expecting a rebuttal from him. Now you have intervened on something that is more methodology, could you answer some simple questions: how do you feel about the abiogenic theory of oil formation?
            You quote peak oil from the ’60s onward? How do you feel about some claims here about peak Lithium, or peak whatever constituent is used in EV batteries?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 25, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

            I came in because your reply twisted what Denis originally said.
            If he wishes to respond that is up to him.

            I have no wish to debate the theory you refer to.
            But I notice your desire to switch the argument away from the failure of peak oil theory over the decades which was the original point of his post.

    • dixie
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      BMW have recognised there simply isn’t room for car ownership to continue at current levels. They and others have been developing ideas around transport as a service with a variety of initial approaches to shared usage being rolled out in some cities including Berlin and Paris.

      Perhaps car companies become change to provide appropriate transport for a regular, expensive subscription rather than simple sell us capital equipment with expensive finance and servicing.

      Personally, I would much rather use that sort of service than have to deal with the hassle and expense of owning one – seems to work for property why not transport.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Both China and India are securing their future supplies by accessing Russia’s vast resources through special privileged relationship status with Russia.

      There was an interesting comment in the Mail on Sunday a couple of weeks ago regarding the status of BP’s stake in Rosneft(value c$15.7 bn).

      “A former adviser to Rosneft,who asked to remain anonymous,said BP has no leverage over Rosneft or it’s Chief Executive,Igor Sechin.The only way BP can generate better returns from Rosneft,the source claimed,is by investing “additional billions” in joint ventures.The source added:”if Russia’s relations with Britain were better,BP could get much better deals.Meanwhile,better deals will go to China and India.”

      It looks like Japan is moving to achieve greater food security-it’s just signed a MoU with Russia for agricultural development(corn,soy,wheat) in the empty but fertile spaces of the Russian Far East.

  5. Shirley
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    It is a UK government decision, isn’t it? I do not recall the EU forcing Boris to declare the UK will be carbon neutral by 2035, or whenever. We can all thank the Climate Activists, which appears to include UK politicians of all colours, for destroying the UK. The next generations in the UK can look forward to a cold and mean existence … probably leading to a spell in Room 101 for ‘not believing’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Quite possibly. But surely they can still be made to see sense and tear up all this deluded green crap region. Cleaner air and water and sensible frugal use of energy yes. The war on CO2 plant food no.

      • Hope
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Yet London dumps 38 tones of human waste in the Thames each week. Originally it was meant to be allowed in exceptional circumstances but population increase makes it necessity until new sewer opens in 2024! The same is true around the country, more pressing to the environment I would suggest than the CO 2 scam.

        Land Fil now seeping and breaking away into nearby waterways and sea because sites were stupidly built too close for erosion to take place.

      • Bob
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        If people wanted common sense in govt, then UKIP would have been the best choice, but alas the voters have been told that the two party system is unbreakable, and they fell for it.

        Just a sample of UKIP policies:
        Open, free-market competition between petrol, diesel and electric vehicles, with no subsidies or tax exemptions for electric vehicles and an end to discriminatory parking fees
        They would abolish the following:
        • Inheritance Tax
        • HS2
        • Stamp Duty
        • Overseas Aid (replace with disaster relief)
        • TV Licence
        • Toll roads (motorists are already overtaxed)

    • DaveK
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Check out the Paris Accord.

  6. agricola
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Politics gone mad. Where are those in Parliament who are willing to stand up in the house to condemn such precipitate policy. Who is going to marshal this 80 majority and do good things before the numbers diminish and we sink back into the grey.

    The enlightened should study the achievments of Sir Stanford Raffles and Lee Quan Yu in turning Singapore into what it is today. A multicultural, Malay, Chinese,Tamil society, clean, crime free, and a highly successful commercial nation state. Their reliance on the car is slowly diminishing because the transport infrastructure is comprehensive, modern and seen to be working. It is years ahead of anything the UK has in mind.

    Yes it is a bit authoritarian , but infinitely better than the talking shop shambles of a UK. A UK to quote Sir Francis Urquart, ” that needs a bit of stick”. The result is that they have one of the highest incomes per capita in the World, and enjoy a quality of life second to none.

    Thinking about Boris’s estuary airport, Singapore would reclaim the estuary and create it with fast rail contact to the city. Infinitely better than further congestion around LHR. But the UK is the nation of the demo and the home of the yellow spotted green toad so there will be much hand wringing and no action. I hope Boris reads this blog and gives us a bit of Urquart stick before negativity kills us further.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      About twice as rich in GDP -PPP terms too – this from being half as rich as the UK not that long ago. Tax there is about 13% of GDP so rather less than 1/3 of our absurdly high levels.

    • agricola
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The UK could benefit from Singapore’s approach to health care. Its basis is that prevention is better than cure, fitness should be part of this along with personal responsibility for self and family. The population pay a contribution directly and by all accounts get a very good service and outcomes. As lifelogic points out their GDP per capita is more than twice that of the UK with taxes way below UK levels. Dominic Cummins’s weirdo blue sky thinkers may or may not come up with some wonderful ideas, but do we need the untried when the success of Singapore is staring us in the face. The UK has all the ingredients for a Singaporean revolution with the bonus of a highly inventive manufacturing base. What are we waiting for.

    • formula57
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      @ agricola – Here’s to hoping that Sir John replies to you with <i"You may think that: I could not possibly say".

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I think if we follow the money we will find out who is behind all this nonsense.
    There isn’t enough material to turn the world all electric.
    This is being driven by the UN and is designed to impoverish the west.

    • Stred
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      No need to follow the money. Just read the UN agendas and the big green money follows, knowing that governments will quietly obey. That’s what civil servants of the highest authority do. The public have to be educated and managed because the leaders know best.

      • agricola
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Stred, my comment on your follow the money has been censored by its elimination. Draw your own conclusions as to who it might not suit.

      • DavidJ
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Once we have (hopefully) destroyed the EU we must turn our attention to the UN. It too must be destroyed before we are.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Agreed Ian

      The UN – just like the BBC – has exceeded it’s brief and now wants to rule us instead of serving us.
      The record of the UN in serving us has also come under attack, because they are failing to protect the vulnerable and are now part of the problem.

      The UN is complicit, if not behind the climate change scam – how long will it take for those in power to recognize these problems and ACT?

    • ian terry
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Spot on the money as usual Ian

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Even in the USA where the government (rightly) does not share EU fervour against CO2 …..

    The sensible thing to do for the average consumer is to keep their old car until the technology gets better and so that is what most are, very sensibly, doing.

    Sir Bob Kirslake on Newsnight says the Civil Servants need to be able to tell truth to power. Well the truth is that we need far lower taxes, far less government and fewer daft vanity projects. Also that civil servants are totally hopeless as spending money efficiently or delivering anything of much real value. Not many civil servants say this truth I find.

    I see that David Dimbleby has thrown his toys out of the pram over Boris and Cumming’s desire to get fair competition in broadcasting (Mail today). The response of the BBC seems to be to get more and more bias every day. It is full of lefty, pro EU, PC, anti Patel, pro BBC unfair competition poll tax and pro climate alarmism propaganda every single day.

    Can we have fair competition, freedom and choice in health care and education too please.

    • steve
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      LL

      “The sensible thing to do for the average consumer is to keep their old car until the technology gets better and so that is what most are, very sensibly, doing.”

      It won’t work, as governments would simply ban old cars from the road all together if they felt people were not in compliance quick enough, or if government’s Bilderberg masters told them to effect an immediate total ban.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Indeed but the longer you leave it the better off you are and the better then new technology will get.

        • steve
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          LL

          “and the better then new technology will get.”

          Don’t hold your breath, LL.

          The laws of physics dictate that EV technology cannot be practical outside of cities, unless the vehicle is a hybrid.

          Battery only simply never will deliver a range or performance to compare with modern piston engines.

          The fact is that the internal combustion piston engine is damn good at what it is designed to do, and in service is probably less polluting than EV’s given how clean engines are these days.

      • Mark
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        There is a point beyond which people will not tolerate government imposed restrictions, which will not work.

    • jerry
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      @LL; “[whilst having a rant about the BBC he asked] Can we have fair competition, freedom and choice in health care and education too please.”

      We already do, no one is being forced to watch broadcast TV or the BBC (and thus pay the TVL fee), both health and education funding comes out of common taxation, there is no law that prevents you topping up the basic state provision by buying on the private market.

      The problem is not so much the TVL fee but effective regulation, since its recent sale (to the USA Comcast Corporation) Sky News has become almost as bad as the BBC when it comes to the CO₂ obsession.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      We have an Eco authoritarian Government, banning petrol and diesel cars, banning gas and oil boilers, and banning coal and log fires, the only interest they have is pay homage to the deity St Greta. When it comes to religious matters practicality doesn’t come into the picture, neither does it matter to them how many people they trample over when they believe the world will end in a decade. So don’t be too surprised if they ban old cars, and Sir John Redwood is going to be disappointed if he thinks they care about car manufacturing as that is probably enemy number one in the Greta religion.

      Looking at the Government’s actions I can only presume they want to get a gilets jaune uprising here.

      • steve
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Iain Moore

        “Looking at the Government’s actions I can only presume they want to get a gilets jaune uprising here.”

        And they will get one, but more along the lines of something rather more decisive.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      David Dimbleby (PPE yet again) chaired the absurdly biased BBC Question Time programme where at least 80% of the panelists were left wing EUphiles and nearly 100% were pushers of climate alarmism. The chair has always also taken a wrong headed “BBC think” view too. This bias still continues with the new Chairman Fiona Bruce (French and Italian Oxon). If anything she is even worse.

    • BOF
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I foresee a great deal of law breaking.

    • BOF
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      LL, not just DD but John Humprys in the DM says that all sane people accept global warming. So that means the rest of us are insane, including a large number of respected scientists! According to JH.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Well I accept that the climate changes always has always will and that mankind has some effect on it (as do millions of other factors).

        The more people know about physics, energy, chaotic systems, predictions and the likes the less they believe in this new religion. The idea that atmospheric C02 concentrations are some kind of World thermostat is totally absurd. As is the idea you can predict the temperature in 100 years (we do not even know many/most of the factors that will effect it).

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Civil servants ought to do as they are damn well told.

      • steve
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Ah but they don’t see themselves as being obliged to ‘serve’.

        Remind any office based local authority civil servant that by definition their job is to serve, and watch the reaction.

        No, their job is to infiltrate with their left wing political correctness, not be accountable, and have a job for life with a big fat pension lined up.

        ‘service” ? nah…that went in 1997.

  9. JimW
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    EVs will mainly be made in the Far East. Partly because of costs but also because the Chinese have a strangle-hold over the rare elements and minerals required for mass production of batteries.
    Quite why western manufacturers and governments are falling over themselves to promote this is a very good question.
    I think the answer lies in understanding the behaviour of crowds and how they are manipulated. IT, AI and the internet could have been working for the good of all, but now they have been co-opted into use for control of populations and the undermining of meaningful democracy.
    Its ironic that in the UK this becomes apparent just as the ‘first skin’ of control is ripped off with brexit. Increasingly people will realise that the skins of control are multitudinous. Almost all ‘EU’ standards and conditions are actually global ones produced in organisations affiliated to the UN , like UNECE. The UK has little ability to change or ignore the global standards.
    In the same way , the present government is following UN edicts on climate etc. It requires a very powerful and obstinate person or group of people to ignore those adicts. The Tory party and Johnson do not fall into that category.
    People in the UK along with the majority of the western world are being led down a path of reduced living standards which is quite deliberate. Some of the elite will gain wealth and power through disruptive investments, the rest will just be gradually impoverished.

    • jerry
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      @JimW; Only the batteries need to be made in the Fart East, if China really does have such a strangle hold (on current technology), what is the difference between a cargo ship or transcontinental freight train full of EV batteries and one full of EVs?…

      As for your second from last paragraph, indeed, hence why the USA is currently being pillared by so many!

    • ian terry
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      JimW

      Totally correct especially the last paragraph.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Some rough numbers – Lithium car batteries cost about £200 per KWH they charge and discharge only about 500 times before the battery is largely done for. So, over the lifetime of the battery, they might deliver less than £50 of electricity to the motor. So £50 of electricity but four times that in depreciation on the fuel tank (the battery). Energy used to manufacture the battery probably exceeds the £50 and you still have to generate the electricity too and manufacture the car.

      Better batteries are needed. EVs make little sense with current technology for most people.

      • jerry
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        @LL; Without putting some real world mileage figures on those battery-cost v. life-cycle assertions your comment is quite meaningless!

        For all anyone knows that 500 charging life-cycle you claim could be the equivalent of 60 to 80,000 miles with a IC engine, meaning that £200 plus fitting works out similar to a petrol or diesel engined vehicle that requires the timing belt and associated parts to be renewed, chuck-in say a clutch replacement before 100,000 miles and those EV cars and batteries actually start looking good value.

        I’m agnostic with regards EVs, the problem is the lack of infrastructure, and lets face it lack of training/knowledge within the wider motor trade, if Govt wants this switch to EVs then it also needs to help out the independent motor trade, other wise customers are far to reliant on main dealers and thus lack choice.

        • steve
          Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          jerry

          “I’m agnostic with regards EVs, the problem is the lack of infrastructure”

          No, the problem is they’re soulless, they’re crap, they can only ever be crap, and very few people want them.

          Forcing that crap on us without permission, and the ban on gas fired central heating without providing a feasible alternative, is what has lost the conservatives the next election.

          • jerry
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            @steve; Luddite’s said all that, more politely, about the motor car when they replaced the horse and carriage, about back-boilers when they replaced the individual coal fire.

            What is all this “without permission”, if you hadn’t noticed the Luddite Party lost the last election, heck I don’t think it even stood one candidate, on the other hand the Tories won a 80 seat majority – second thoughts, two such parties did stand, UKIP and TBP, did stand!

            When someone from within motor industry R&D, in the mid 1970s, suggested that the diesel engine would become a viable alternative to the compact petrol engine many ‘petrol heads’ simply laughed, they just could not see beyond the heavy high-torque low-speed plodding CI engines then fitted to buses and lorries or those heavy limousines that a certain quality German car maker built with a price premium… Even in the 1980s, when the small diesel engine had arrived many said they would never be paired with automatic transmission…

            As for Central heating, you are simply wrong, effective electric heating has been around since the 1950s, admittedly the early electric radiators (not to be mistaken for Econ7 that came later and is an abomination) were rather chunky but then so were the early cast-iron HWCH radiators.

            My prediction, unless the Govt. does a U-turn on their building regs policy,, UK new build will move towards forced air electric/heat-pump HACH, up market installations will likely be HVAC. The marketing point for both, as ever, will be “Freedom to place your furniture, almost, without restriction”.

      • dixie
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        You whine about technology not being ready but do nothing to support it’s advance. Quite the opposite, you boast of your non-contribution to the auto industry that you complain so much about.

        Your numbers are plain wrong.

        If your 500 charge cycles were valid then a Leaf 40kWh battery would deliver 20 MWh to the motor (500 x 40kWh) at 15p per domestic kWh that would be £3,000 of electricity, £2500 if you never took the battery below 20%, this is more than the energy cost to manufacture the battery packs. For my EV and energy mix that £3000 of electricity would actually cost me around £300 – 400 for say 70,000 miles.

        But the limit is not 500 charge cycles, manufacturers state 300 – 500 before capacity drops to 70% as a very conservative estimate. Managed battery discharge-charge increases the number of charges which can easily exceed 1500 cycles depending on depth of discharge and temperature levels. Even then the battery does not become unusable and beyond vehicle use can then be repurposed as a grid storage battery. I keep my EV battery charge level at 25 – 85% which could give me 4,000 cycles.

        You have a very simplistic view on this topic and are just plain wrong on facts and numbers.

        • jerry
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          @dixie; Thank you for putting some real world figures and experience on record.

  10. Peter
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    On the other hand, the government encourages extortionate fares on the railway – above inflation annual increases, £180 tickets from London to Manchester etc. The service will continue to be disjointed and unreliable. Countrywide access will be limited, despite huge investment in pointless projects like HS2.

    This will help to boost demand for alternative means of personal transport.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      And if I may, this government commits to billions for a railway yet I am forced to drive along roads which are not just plagued with potholes, and lots more have been cteated after the recent rain, but along roads the foundations of which are collapsing.

    • Matt
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      All sticks, no carrots.

      We’ve made a HUGE mistake voting in this PM.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Matt – – all Labour’s fault for putting up Corbyn, who could never win. So votes focussed on preventing Corbyn – not the merits of Conservatives with Boris (aka Cummings).

  11. Richard416
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    This proposed shift from the practical motor car to something which is more of a belief than a reality, will undoubtedly put a blight on petrol and diesel technology, which means it is unlikely to be improved. Even though our motor vehicles are cleaner and more efficient than ever before, by blighting them in this way the governments are pretty well guaranteeing they won’t get any better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • Bob
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      “by blighting them in this way the governments are pretty well guaranteeing they won’t get any better.”

      That is their intention.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    The motor car represents a true dichotomy for government – On the one hand they want to claim that making cars is good for employment, while at the same time they tax motorists heavily, in a variety of ways – So this is all seen as positive.
    On the other hand, government complain that motorists are using their cars too much and jamming up the motorways, while keeping the provision and maintenance of roads somewhere in the dark ages. Then they start prohibiting or penalising use of vehicles in town centres – Now we have the war against petrol/diesel cars. It would seem governments create problems and leave us to manage as best we can Oh for a country where decent infrastructure was in place to provide for necessary travel adequately, and unnecessary journeys were few because of optimum use of technology and the way the infrastructure was organised so effectively.
    Never mind a 5 year plan – we need a 100 year plan that doesn’t change every 5 years.

  13. Roger Phillips
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    This move towards electric cars is a complete nonsense. I have worked with a major UK car buyer and people are selling electric cars for way below market value due to difficulty charging in rural areas and also where charging points are available they have to wait endlessly if the points are being used. There is also no standard when it comes to the connection point pins. Back to the drawing board.

  14. steadyeddie
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Why this constant antagonism towards the EU when we have effectively left, your arguments often supported by untruths. The EU target is for 40% EV by 2040- a growth of c.2% per annum. The adjustment in demand is a result of many factors, not least of which is ever increasing reliability matched with the quality of performance and extras on even the cheapest models. Manufacturers can continue to produce diesel but if consumers do not want them, they either change or go out of business, that is the free market in action. Not always good but has brought us great benefits. Nothing to do with the EU, government or industry cartels.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The banning of sales of new petrol and diesel cars is underway.
      The UK have just made it 2035
      The EU want it to be 2030.
      They are trying to get it into law as member nations have signed the Paris Agreement.

      There is no free market in action.
      Consumers cannot have what they want.
      Governments are already banning or charging fees to keep cars out of city centres all over Europe and adding taxes to diesel and petrol cars and now they are banning companies from selling non EV cars completely.

  15. Dave
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The obsession against CO2 is as stupid as all witch hunts and will be regarded as such in the future. In the meantime we are, as always, suffering due to government. Idiotic interference by political idiots than know virtually zero about science, economics, history or anything except extracting cash from tax payers will just add to the perfect storm we are facing. Hollowed out economies, huge unpunished criminality in banking and big business, constant wars, plagues of locusts, pandemics and a climate that is cooling not warming. The next set of economic statistics will be disastrous across the world, the one after will be worse. Bill Gates may well get his wish for a lot less people in this world.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    EVs are not a new concept..they have been in production/development since the late 1800s.
    Ford of course advanced the ICE with his production methods and as in California in the 90s the oil lobby has always fought its corner quite ferociously.
    Europe ( although oil consumption has fallen) is hugely dependent on oil imports and probably, regarding foreign policy, needs to cut this dramatically.
    EVs always waiting in the wings now brought to the fore by “green” with the hope that this will prick consumer demand. British manufacturers more cautious maybe feeling that more time for development and choice for consumer is necessary.

  17. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Journalist Melanie Phillips had an excellent piece yesterday “The Real Western Civilisation Emergency” outlining the bogus nature of “climate emergency” declarations and the catastrophic economic damage looming over zero carbon policies.
    Read it on her own site or notalotofpeopleknowthat. It should required reading for ministers.

  18. DOMINIC
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    From 2022 all new cars sold in the EU must be fitted with DMS, Driver Monitoring Systems. This is a small camera fitted in front of the driver of the vehicle and operates using algorithms and sophisticated software applications. Its primary aim is to issue audible or physical warnings when the driver under constant monitoring is deemed to be falling asleep, suffering a pre-sleep event or is distracted. The system can also be used for facial recognition purposes, recording of all occupants and their identities and many other in-car and out-car applications which are too tedious to go into

    Other ideas being studied by the EU is V2X technology in which all vehicles will be linked, interact and record each others position and actions.

    One doesn’t need to be genius to see how central governments will be able to design a transport network that will be able to track, monitor and organise every vehicle down to the ability to intervene in a car’s direction and take away control from a driver for whatever reason

    Some people may think this is scientific progress, some human progress, I call it terrifying, politically driven and disturbing

    • glen cullen
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      agree

  19. dixie
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Why are you so worked up about the ICE car industry specifically?

    Where was all this concern as our electronics, computing, telecommunications, nuclear and other strategic industries were given away?

    According to Bloomberg BNEF 70 million 2 and 3 wheeled vehicles are sold annually, 30% of those are electric. Shouldn’t the question be why our vehicle industry is so far behind?

  20. Fred H
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    If economies are based on the ever more complicated and almost pointless obsession with providing cars with ‘toys’ then I welcome a gradual shrinkage of the business. Replacing a number plate indicating the car is 2 or 3 years old with one boasting this year is a ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ nonsense. Swap engines which will be more frugal and will emit less pollutants is a sensible step, but not replacing the whole car!
    We see lorries, coaches, vans, motor-bikes and cars chucking out noxious fumes all around us – but little seems to be done to stop them on the roadside and ban them.

  21. ian terry
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This whole EV exercise is driven by the politics of the mad house. It will take 10 years to implement the change over world wide (and some) not enough raw materials available to meet the demand.

    Still people ignore the problem of the disposal of thre batteries let alone all the old redundant vehicles.
    All companies need to operate a business as usual philosophy to ensure that they are bringing money in to pay for the new generation of vehicles. Too much emphasis is being based on EVs. There are alternatives but companies might need encouragement to explore other avenues. To do this and keep jobs intact they need to sell their existing models. This is not an exercise in applying rocket science. Politicians need to wake up and smell the coffee.
    Change is a constant in life but it needs properly managing. Destroying the car industry with high taxation is not the panacea of all that is wrong with the UK and its save the world green policies.
    .

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    It’s clear there is a loss of imperative to renew a car – the industry and government between them have managed to engender a situation where it’s almost embarrassing to own a new car. It shows you either aren’t green enough or just haven’t kept up with events. The point is, this isn’t necessarily a “BAD” thing. The resources in the UK which went into recycling cars early could be put into other areas – public transport infrastructure, making farming more efficient, healthcare and so on. The misfits and weirdos allegedly now in number 10 should be able to figure out how to carry out this transfer. Go with the flow.

    • steve
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Sir Joe Soap

      “The resources in the UK which went into recycling cars early could be put into other areas”

      How about recycling this traitorous robbing government into something useful?

      We have five years to come up with ideas as to the best use for these stinkers.

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I also find it amazing that governments and manufacturers have bought into this so readily given the supply of lithium is so limited.
    Those parts of the World where the raw material for batteries exists are hardly democratic, and by the very demand for their raw material they will soon become very powerful.

    Who would feel comfortable to purchase a new car at the moment. ?

    Huge uncertainty.

  24. Pat
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Posit that the leaders of large companies are far more interested in the good opinion of their peers than in the wellbeing of their companies and it all makes sense.

  25. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    You make a very valid point JR in “It is unusual for governments to set out to damage a big industry like this in quite such a concerted way. It is even more unusual for the industry to accept it and to collaborate as freely with the demise of its existing products and method of working. ” So why is this…..?

    Are other things coming into play? – Surely it can’t be as simple as the climate change virus having infected everyone in a position of any power?
    It’s beginning to look that way.

  26. BOF
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Listening to conversation in the hairdresser yesterday between three people. Not one of them were going to buy an electric vehicle in the foreseeable future.

    That, I thought, about sums it up.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Only suitable for rich virtue signalers, with more money than sense, as a second car city car if you have someone to pay and charge it!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 22, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        somewhere not someone! But most people in cities do not have a parking space!

  27. ian terry
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Ian Wragg

    Spot on the money as usual Ian

  28. James Snell
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Yeah we just need an ordinary style Lada vehicle to get us around- electric of course

  29. steve
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Well no matter what, Boris and his conservatives are out of power come next election – and I dare them to ban general elections. Try that one and see what happens.

    Right now I’d say we need control over government more than control over immigration.

    This government is underestimating people’s thirst to have unadulterated revenge.

  30. Matt
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Well. The fact is that every industrialist, movie maker, advertiser is now pushing the eco-bollocks, PC line.

    Go Woke Go Broke – as Harry Antoinette is about to find out.

  31. formula57
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the motor industry does “…not lobby against the many EU policies determined to close all factories making diesel and petrol cars as quickly as possible” because its strategy is to milk the green revolution that it anyway cannot thwart?

    The extensive replacement of the present ICE fleet, coupled with comparatively shortened useful life of its EV products, will go far to offset changes in consumption and ownership preferences for the next twenty or so years at least. Thereafter, the industry may indeed be in for tougher times.

  32. Martin R
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The imposition of electric cars on the population is pure socialism, yet another rejection of market economics by this government of fake conservatives. Conventional cars are incredibly clean now with extremely low emissions after decades of i.c. engine R & D. Research has shown that the majority of particulate emissions from cars now come from brakes and tyres, not from the exhaust. These emissions depend on vehicle mass. As EV’s are considerably heavier with battery packs weighing a quarter of a ton or more they are likely to be more polluting in terms of particulates, not less.

    The fact is that fossil fuels are currently abundant. As they gradually become more difficult and more energy intensive to extract market forces will in time impel the change to alternative technologies. Then and only then will those alternative technologies make sense. Politicians second guessing markets has never made sense in the past. The likelihood it makes sense now is vanishingly small.

    Incidentally Bosch has produced an experimental demonstrator diesel VW Golf to show that NOx emissions can be reduced even more by optimising the power plant using all existing off the shelf components. Politicians are of course not remotely interested.

    • steve
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Martin R

      Well said.

      Indeed piston engines have never been cleaner.

      In fact I believe piston engined cars running on hydrogen will account for much less pollution than an EV’s.

      Japan has announced it will be forging ahead to convert to a hydrogen based economy.

      We’re being had over big time.

    • Richard
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Peak Oil is dependent on the Oil Price, technology & competing projects. Therefore Peak Oil keeps on increasing: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/04/22/peak-oil-abiotic-oil-eroei-realish-things-that-dont-matter/

  33. Bob
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to go o/t but according to the Independent

    “Grooming gang review kept secret as Home Office claims releasing findings ‘not in public interest’”

    How is it “not in the public interest”?

    Reminds me of the Balen Report that didn’t go the way the BBC had hoped, so it was suppressed.

  34. Lester Beedell
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to know who’s advising the government on energy, there’s an excellent article by Charles Moore in today’s Telegraph, I’ve operated a wood burning stove many years ago and the thought of burning wet wood would have filled me with horror.
    I’ve been in a state of despair about the government since all these totally loopy policies began to appear, I was one of Boris Johnson’s staunchest supporters but it seems that my concerns about the direction of the government are becoming more widely held.
    Co2 isn’t a problem, it’s an essential gas for the survival of the planet, if people need to be concerned about a gas how about Helium, it’s essential for the cooling of some medical scanners and as far as I’m aware it’s a finite resource and shouldn’t be used in Party balloons.
    The election was a one issue election and I’m sure that if more had been known about other policies the result may have been different?
    I run a 1993 Peugeot 306 diesel turbo which has covered 190.000 miles and is 100% reliable, a 2001 Audi TT and a 1999 Lotus Elise as a fun car which covers about 2.000 miles over the summer, it’s not comfortable to drive because of the horrendous potholes.

    • steve
      Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Lester

      ” a 2001 Audi TT”

      Not good for your image, Lester.

      “a 1999 Lotus Elise”

      Is it a Federal Elise ? if it’s a K series….I feel your pain.

      Jaguar man myself, but also have a Daimler Double Six.

      “I’ve operated a wood burning stove many years ago and the thought of burning wet wood would have filled me with horror.”

      Same here Lester. In fact I’ve thrown logs back at a retailer (literally) for trying to palm me off with unseasoned wood.

      A good source of seasoned wood is palettes and packing crates, or fell your own and store it for the following year. I live on the banks of an estuary, so there is always a source of free wood.

      “The election was a one issue election and I’m sure that if more had been known about other policies the result may have been different?”

      ….you bet your life on it mate. I’m 100% convinced Boris has lost the conservatives the next general election. He can do what he likes with europe, it won’t make any difference. He’s ruined many a retirement, and placed the country in a very vulnerable position with his green crap policies. People will have his head for this.

  35. glen cullen
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    The decline in the UK automotive industry can be pointed front and centre at the policies of the UK government

    Allowed the transfer of models, lines, skills & knowledge, plant, R&D and brands to the EU and the world throughout 1990s

    Allowed debt and unstable banking to unsettle markets in 2008

    Intervened in complex taxation rules and scrapage schemes

    Intervened in taxation subsidy schemes to promote diesel over petrol

    More recently allowed the green lobby to dictate policy to ‘ban’ combustion engine over electric

    And by accepting EU regulations we’ve denied entry to any new/small car manufacturing company. Only existing manufacturers can build cars. We have stopped all innovation or invention.

    This is also true for the motorcycle manufacturing industry

  36. Mary McDougall
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I believe that something is seriously WRONG with the apparent demise of the present car industry. I would dearly love to know who profits the most from introduction of these Electric cars that incidentally use large amounts of products that affect climate with the making of their batteries. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

  37. Richard
    Posted February 22, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    2035 deadline immediately amended to 2032 (which did the MSM report?).
    Agenda21 became Agenda 2030.

    Why all the rush? Are the ‘Elite’ worried about evidence increasingly supporting The Svensmark Effect? (A hypothesis that galactic cosmic rays induce low cloud formation and thereby influence the Earth’s climate.)

    Several scientists now predict a 35 year cooling period 2020-2055: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45584-3 https://notrickszone.com/2017/04/10/a-swelling-volume-of-scientific-papers-now-forecasting-global-cooling-in-the-coming-decades/
    Solar activity & measured temperatures are well correlated since the Wolf Minimum 1290-1320 AD.

    NASA now agrees with most solar scientists that the next solar cycle (SC25) will be the weakest of the last 200 years (allowing more cosmic rays to enter the solar system).

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    There are 15 years left until it is illegal to sell petrol, diesel and hybrid cars. That is greater than the economic life of many cars.

    The Government must ensure that private enterprise can make a profit from providing rapid battery charging points in public places. Converting existing filling stations and provision in public car parks and supermarket car parks will be part of the mix. The Government should also legislate to require all home owners to provide external charging points.

    We should ban old style diesels from cities but allow them to operate in rural areas. And we have to ask the question about diesel powered buses and trucks. Should there be restrictions on where they go?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      If you restrict where they go you make the logistics far more complex and restrictive and you end up doing more milage and being less efficient. Hybids are perhaps the best solution for cars, vans and small trucks so they can do the city bit largely on battery but still have the range and quick refill ability for outside the city.

  39. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Why aren’t we moving to, i.e, putting the infrastructure in for, hydrogen fuelled cars? There is no way we can produce enough electricity for all cars to be electric and for all our homes to be heated by electricity.

    I plan to keep my car for as long as possible. It’s seems the most environmentally responsible thing to do.

    • hefner
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Could it be because hydrogen is industrially produced by either steam reforming of natural gas, or coal gasification, or partial oxidation of methane, or biomass gasification, and that all these methods require energy of some kind?

      • hefner
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        And ‘electro’lysis of water!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 25, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Indeed hydrogen is not a source of energy just a way of storing it and transporting it (an alternative to a battery). We still need an energy source to produce the hydrogen. Not that easy to store or transport Hydrogen eithers and lots of energy is wasted in the process too.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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