UK Car market declines – again

August was a quieter month than usual for car sales. Despite the recent exit from lock down, sales fell 5.8% on the month, with an especially big decline in business purchases. Many people and companies remain put off by the aggressive Vehicle Excise duties, and by the continuing spin against conventional cars.

As I feared, present policy is much more successful at dissuading people from buying new diesel or petrol cars than it is at persuading them to buy new electric vehicles. 2020 to date has seen a massive 59.7% reduction in diesel car sales. It is this segment of the market that the UK had done so well in, with large investments in clean diesel engine technology. There was also a decline of 44.6% in petrol cars. There were substantial percentage gains in the sales of electric and Plug in Hybrid cars on a small base. The market year to date has seen all electric vehicles take just 4.9% of the sales, and Plug in Hybrids 3.3%.

If the government cares about the state of the motor industry it needs to review its tax policy, and to reflect on the pace of change to electric products. It is curious that the car industry itself does not seem that concerned about the damage transition is doing to it. Some are still talking about Brexit effects when it is obvious that CV 19 shutdowns and the hostility to diesel and petrol cars has driven a big decline in the market before we leave the EU single market. It is tax and electric car policies that pose future problems.

What would it take to get readers to buy a new car any time soon? And what would you want from an electric vehicle on range, charge times, availability of power and price of car to make it a more interesting proposition? Clearly the public is very underwhelmed by the current offerings despite the enormous pressure on everyone to switch. So far the government is just proving it is easier to destroy successful past investment than to make successful new investment pay. They have put people off new cars but find it difficult to switch them to battery products.

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    The market should decide whether electric cars work, no Government diktat.

    Everything about electric cars seems negative. It’s also hard to see what is green about them.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Civil Service Unions are moaning about having to go back to work.

      What part are they objecting to:

      1. having to go back
      1. having to work

      • MWB
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Simple solution – start to lay them off.

        • Hope
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          480,000 staying at home! How many are in useless quangos that serve no useful purpose? It is easier to have a review than make these redundant.

          • Hope
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            This is the same Johnson when Mayor claimed the public will think they were mugged when told to buy diesel cars by the govt and now taxed for doing so (sic). So what should we think now with his action! Absolute plonker.

            He needs to get back to playing the fool on TV as entertainment not playing the fool to run government.

        • Hope
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Johnson on diesl cars, a total policy failure. So what does he think he his policy?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


          If they can do it from home it can be done for perhaps less than 10% of the cost in other countries. For what actually need doing by the state (perhaps 20% at most) do that and release them all to get a real job in the UK and pay taxes in rather than be a drain on others.

          In India £2000 will get you a better civil servant worker than £50K will in the UK.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          +1 they will be happier (after some adjustment) doing a real job if they can!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Let’s consider some of those jobs that you call real.

            Say, those who design, build, maintain and fly aircraft, or who operate technology in hospitals.

            What kind of a world do you think it would be, if all of those people operated at the general level of truthfulness, trustworthiness, and reliability of prominent government figures here and in the US?

            “Yes, Sir, I did a great job of making certain of this aircraft’s airworthiness”


            You see, when some cynics in high places start to show the world that being diligent, truthful and trustworthy are mugs games, well, it might just start to rub off.

            Ask that US plane maker. And it’s going to get worse. And you enabled all this.

          • NickC
            Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            Martin, Your self-deluded diatribe might go down well without thinking at the Guardian, but the lack of diligence, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and honesty of continuity Remain, as they sought to cynically dismantle our democracy, takes some beating.

        • Hope
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          Johnson was very clear as Mayor of London how the public was conned by govt to buy diesel. Why would the public be conned by Johnson’s latest mugging? Google him before the select committee ! Your govt is hopeless, clueless and dishonest. Mays deal is dea, oven ready deal, do or die in a ditch, how about dead line dates, no deal better than a bad deal then your govt signs up to the WA and PD and sell out N.Ireland!

          Johnson’s ratings plummeting like a stone. Just get out.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        They are under the misapprehension that the media & unions are their boss

        They certainly don’t follow any orders or instructions from their employer

        The real problem is that the senior civil servants are under the same misapprehension

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Taken from the NS&I website today: ‘We’re working with much smaller teams at the moment.’ It goes on to say how normal service levels aren’t possible. The government needs to INSIST on its employees going back to work, at their place of work, rather than just exhorting. To the podium with our ministers, to explain their departmental attendance figures. I’m quite certain that MoD Main Building will have the highest – and no COVID problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Indeed for most people they are impractical and very expensive. They are not zero emission they are emissions elsewhere. They do not even save significant
      (or even any) CO2 in the main.

      R&D on battery technology fine – premature roll out by government degree and tax payer funded bribes is idiotic.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        But why is the tax-payer bearing any of these costs – car manufacture is still a private business

      • Javelin
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Batteries don’t last more than a couple of years so the depreciation is enormous. It’s like buying a car that will rust apart in 3 years. Nobody wants to talk about the depreciation.

        Green is the new rust.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Your first line says everything – ”no government diktat”

      We are not a communist state….stop social & green engineering

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        In a free market every new idea, product and service can stand and fall on its own merits.

        I see a big market in petrol driven second hand cars for the foreseeable future.

        So far most people won’t buy an electric car because they have a limited range, and are limited in almost every other way. The only thing that is not limited is the price.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Indeed our foolish politicians think they can change the laws of physics and engineering by diktat.

        So idiotic are they nearly all voted for the Climate Change Act and support May’s moronic net zero carbon lunacy.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          A plague a’ both your houses

          From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

          But for all those MPs that voted for the Climate Change Act

    • Hope
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      JR, what do you expect when people read in national newspapers the Blaire Tribute Act govt. plans to bring its electric car plans forward! Even if not true there was no rebuttal! Same for gas boiler renewals.

      Economy policy a complete mess.
      Brexit already demonstrated betrayal of the nation and Johnson rewards them with extra pension and titles!
      Immigration out of control against ten years of your govt lies and dishonesty.
      Every policy a complete mess.
      Industry is linked to the above- 86% of coal imported from Russia- when UK has 300 years of supply for industry like cement, glass, pottery etc. . 52% of Germany’s energy from Russia then both countries come out last week about an international response to the the the fourth person poisoned by the Russian govt!

      Your govt. is the problem. Hammond’s response to Germany diesel emission scandal was to tax UK citizens! Trump fined VW $30 billion and had them agree to swap cars for US consumers! Johnson just rewarded Hammond for betraying the nation’s mandate to leave the EU, betraying promises to get elected to balance structural deficit, destroying car industry and his failed promises on the economy!

      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Hope, UK governments have been capitulating to the EU for 50 years. They’re used to it. And the EU is used to it. It takes someone like Trump to show how much we remain in thrall to EU corporatism and mercantilism.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed the market should decide most things. How many MPs have even the slightest grasp of energy, engineering, physics, maths or rational economics – 5% at best perhaps. Anyone who voted for the Climate Change Act or the Net Zero Carbon lunacy has shown they do not have a clue.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink


      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Sadly you are plain wrong. And I support Q Anon.
        We have not had a Parliament for 47 years. We need to upgrade most seats. But we have pure gold in Parliament too and I’m not about to throw that out. The 2 party system ensures we elect 1 – they are no excuses, and we can sack them and replace with the other.
        BTW what the gold MPs achieved was to get the Brexit legislation through a solidly REMAIN HOUSE. This is a massive achievement. Well – Trump is ours really, but we have a superior Trump – guess who?

        • hefner
          Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Rishi? He indeed seems a nice guy, accomplished and enlightened.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 6, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          Hefner is Trump ‘a nice guy?’ Or does he fight effectively for his people?

  2. Mark B
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . decline in the market before we leave the EU single market.

    But I thought we had left the EU ? 😉

    Moving on.

    As I had said in a previous post, I am in the market for a new car. Unfortunately my criteria is such that I have to put off my purchase until things become a little clearer. I want to buy British and I would consider a hybrid, but will probably end up buying foreign and petrol. It is my needs that are guiding my purchase and as government constantly interferes and distorts the market with legislation and poor economic decisions I find myself at a loss as to what to do. Surely I cannot be alone ?

    The attraction of personal transport is the freedom it gives you. You can plan your journey, set your time, fill your boot space with anything you need, and just go ! If one has to use public transport you are at the mercy of a system that is complicated, unreliable, costly and with the disadvantage that you are limited by what you can carry. Cars are great ! What is not so great about them is that in major towns and cities they are enemy number one and seen, at best, as a ca$h cow, and at worst, pure evil. And to that end government legislation has taken the jack hammer, in the form of enviro-fundamentalism, to crack a small nut. A more common sense approach would be to promote small electric vehicles like the Renault Twizzy for around town and popping down to the shops and larger hybrid cars for longer journeys. But this government has decided to ban the ICE. Soon we will all be reverting to using horses and carts with their associated methane polluting (horse) power source 😉

    As for the car industry. Well it is another revenue stream.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Countries which are not in the European Union – such as Norway and Switzerland, held up as shining examples of prosperity and independence by Farage pre-referendum – have preferential access to its Single Market. The WA placed the UK temporarily in a similar position as a non-member.

      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        No, Martin, the WA stipulates that we must obey all EU laws, not just the single market policy. We are still controlled by the EU. If you know differently then share with us the rules that state the UK now controls our own fish and farming, for example. It should be easy for you.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          Or even just our borders!

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Just one catch, we pay as a net customer and those countries are net suppliers.
        Would you expect to pay M & S, Boots Debenhams etc to go into their shops or onto their websites just to be able to buy from them? We’ve been duped for too long.

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Your choice of ‘British’ car manufacturers is pretty much limited to Aston Martin, Rolls Royce or McLaren. So you are probably not buying one of those.

      My current car is a hybrid. It is a brilliant vehicle – we will never buy a petrol or diesel car again. I don’t understand why anyone would – pointlessly wasting all that money on fuel.

      My next car will be fully electric. The problems many of the contributors to this blog invent about electric cars really don’t exist in the real world for many people.

      • MWB
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Rolls-royce is owned by BMW.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        There speaks the voice of middle-class white privilege – your “real world” is one where the high cost of buying a new electric car “doesn’t exist”. Too bad for those poor people who can only afford a second-hand petrol car, let them walk.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        That’s fine, its your choice
        Today its your choice tomorrow it will be compulsion
        I don’t want our government telling me what to buy, restricting what I could buy and funding something with taxpayers money
        It is and will always be about fair choice

        • Andy
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          It was once a person’s choice as to whether or not they wanted to send their kids to work down the mines. But we rather sensibly limited than choice too. Petrol cars are bad for the planet – we know this. And we need the planet to be here long after you and I are gone.

          So your choice is to drive an environmentally friendly vehicle or to not drive. Easy.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            What about the people that can’t afford an environmentally friendly vehicle Andy because they are overpriced? Not available in the second hand market, and when they do hit the second hand market are virtually washed up and too expensive to repair.

            I forget just how elite people like you are, remove the working class from the roads so you can zoom around feeling good about your electric vehicle that is still using up energy.

          • Fred H
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            a very simple choice – down the mine – or starve.

          • JohnK
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink


            How amusing your ideas are.

            The children working down mines nowadays are in the DRC. They are digging out cobalt and lithium for your beloved electric cars.

          • NickC
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            Andy, But battery electric cars are not environmentally friendly. Their motors, their electronics, their plastics, and their batteries are toxic both in manufacture and disposal. It is absolutely typical that your green ideology depends on slogans and beliefs rather than facts. Particularly since you appear technically illiterate.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            Get other people’s kids to mine your battery materials instead !

            Typical Andy.

          • glen cullen
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            The jury is still out on the role of carbon dioxide

          • Edward2
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Think big Andy.
            Man produces a few percent of total CO2
            Cars produce a few percent of mans CO2
            The saving by using electric cars will save a few percent of that.
            The UK produces just a few percent of global CO2.
            If we go zero CO2 China will increase their output by that saving if ours within a year.

            I like electric cars in cities for the lack of exhaust fumes.
            That’s it.
            By the way cars in cities only create 20% of pollution.

      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Andy, Do you get anything right? Rolls Royce cars is owned by BMW. McLaren is mainly owned by foreign shareholders (eg: Mumtalakat 56%).

        If you want to pay 50% more for a similar electric car you have my permission. But count in the cost of replacement batteries with your fuel costs.

        And if you think government won’t tax electricity for cars you’re dreaming. That’s if the government ever gets round to building the generation plant in the first place.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Because I picked up my no-tax petrol for £3k and I will run it for at least ten years.

        That’s why I don’t want a hybrid or electric.

        I bet my car’s full-life carbon footprint is dwarfed by your car’s.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink


        “Your choice of ‘British’ car manufacturers is pretty much limited to Aston Martin, Rolls Royce or McLaren. So you are probably not buying one of those.”

        You forgot the Reliant Robin -:)

        • Edward2
          Posted September 6, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          You keep saying this Margaret and you have been told several times.before that the Reliant Motor Company closed decades ago.

          You are both wrong there are loads of British car manufacturers.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      You’re not alone, we’re in the market to replace two cars the interference and distortion are putting us off too because we keep cars a long time 15 years.

      Public transport where I live is dirty, old ex-City double deckers running around empty up to 6pm they get busy with school children but after that pointless, they only run because they’re fully subsidised, dial a ride would be better I don’t know how the bus companies get away with it because I bet they’re paid big for the service. Post of the people around here seem to have taxi vouchers?

    • Hope
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Mark, plus Blaire Tribute Act Govt scare about Chinese flu and dangers of using public transport! You could not make it up. Johnson’s govt keep shooting itself in the foot as well as betraying promises made to the nation.

      I am beyond understanding why anyone votes for them. Truly. I cannot understand why after three straight electoral betrayals over ten years the public has not got the message it is a totally dishonest party and govt and has no intention whatsoever of achieving policy aims made during election. So those on this blog who voted for them, look in the mirror and ask yourself why you were so stupid.

      Johnson said in interview illegal immigrants across the channel would be sent straight back. First thing he did in office was to cut immigration targets and he has a long history calling for amnesty for illegal immigration.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


        Sorry for the late reply

        The Tory’s had a leader with an ideology. Alas both it and she were not to their liking and they decided never to have someone with ideas as leader again. Hence why when looking around for ideas they tend to nick either UKIP, BXP, LibDem or mostly Labour policies.

        They keep getting elected, not because they are the best choice, but the least worst. If a party comes along that is offering better policies, they just outright copy them with no intention of implementing them.

    • NickC
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Mark B, The government banning ICE cars and Gas for home heating simply cannot work without the alternative fuel (electricity) in place. Work on the basis that the government is as bonkers as the USSR, and plan accordingly.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Nick do you know when the ban on gas for home heating is coming in my gas boiler is 15 years old and needs replacing and I’m not sure whether to buy or hold off.

        • NickC
          Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          A-tracy, 2025 for new build homes only. Natural gas will continue to be available for some time to come, and so will replacement boilers, for homes with existing gas heating. How long hasn’t been decided, but I would guess (and it is a guess) for at least another 25 years.

          The two alternatives are pure electric heating and heat pump heating. Heat pumps run off electricity – about 1kW of electricity for 4kW of heat at best. Ground source is better than air source because a/s is effectively heating by electricity in cold weather. Both are far more costly to install than a replacement gas boiler.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 7, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

            Thanks for the info.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I thought it was cows that eructated the methane whilst digesting grass.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        It’s the same stuff that comes out the other end as in any animal. How much methane is in it is beyond me and full points to anyone who is prepared to do the research 😉

  3. Steven
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The car buying public has more sense than any government that’s for sure. they can see that electric vehicles do not provide what they promise. Very high cost only partly disguised by government tax breaks, horrific costs when the battery fails effectively writing off the vehicle, short range and slow recharges. In short they are a con like all the other cons we are being subjected to and I’m glad to see at least a good percentage of people see through the BS.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Perfectly put

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The latest attempted con by the pushers of these vehicles is to claim you can make money by using the battery to charge up and discharge to store electricity when cheap and discharge back to the grid when expensive. Except do you want to find your car is flat when you need it? Plus the extra depreciation on the expensive battery will almost certainly be more than the fee you can earn.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Plus a typical car battery only stores about £3 of electricity when full. Plus you lose about 75% in the charge and discharge cycle!

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      The point of electric cars is to deny the general public mobility while telling them that they still have it.

      We are being turned into a rice’n’bicycle society which would be OK if we were set up as one.

      As it is relatives are spread far and wide because we did better than ‘get on our bikes’ like the Tories told us to. We took on the responsibility of vehicle ownership to make us more employable and less dependent on the state.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Reduce the number of cars by reducing the number of car owners – simple 😉

  4. agricola
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I am not in the market for a replacement vehicle, the diesel engined Qashqai I have has covered 30,000 miles very economically and does everything else I expect of it. No electric vehicle , to my knowledge, can cover 5oo miles, half of it at night with the aircon on, pulling a sailplane trailer. Even if it could recharging times and facilities are totally inadequate. Electric vehicles are only adequate for local shopping.

    As to the government putting its oar in almost anywhere these days, one can only conclude that they are unfit for purpose. They spend too much time praying at their green altar to give me any real confidence that they are fit to govern, particularly in this post Brexit readjustment period. Government are the overloaded vehicle on the back of enterprise.

    Sorry to be so negative but you do not sound that positive yourself.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Yes it’s pretty clear that what this country had achieved over a number of years is despite the dead hand of the government not because of it. The absolute unthought through mess they are making of quarantine is a cipher for the rest of it and what makes me angry is no one pays. They swan off to the Lords or umpteen Boards or a consultancy sinecure somewhere whilst we have their yoke round our neck.

      As for the topic, the answer is nothing. I can travel anywhere in England at the weekends for my sport, hockey so I need range and instant refill and have a large garden and allotment so I need size for bags if compost etc.

      Therefore a used car, Ford, run for ever, cheap to maintain and even cheaper to buy. When it starts to cost me money, off to the breakers yard and invest another max £ 2 grand.

      This one apart from being a great workhorse has also taken me all over Europe. On the peages very comfortable. Big boot. Chuck everything in. Who needs an expensive car and no chance anything with a battery. Maybe when two litre hybrids get into my price range.

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      This is not true. Electric cars are fine for the vast majority of motorists the vast majority of the time. Most journeys we all make are short – and electric cars have no problem doing those.

      Occasionally we will all make longer journeys. You do not travel 500 miles at night with the aircon on towing a trailer every week. And even if you do you’ll have to stop en route for petrol and a wee anyway.

      Now, with an electric car you do currently have to plan your journey a bit more carefully than you do with petrol. But, even here, the car will help you. You tell a Tesla where you are going and it will tell you where to stop on the way. It will also tell you how long to charge the car for. And its charging network around Europe is extensive. Plus of course when you are driving to Spain from next year you’ll have longer waits at UK borders anyway. So you can perhaps charge your car while all your paperwork is being checked. You’ll have to return at least every 90 days so you’ll get used to it!

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Electric cars are fine for the vast majority of motorists the vast majority of the time

        No – 75% of people live in a flat or terraced house with no ability to charge an EV

      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Andy, That’s not true. The vast majority of motorists have only one car for their own use. They need it for the commute and the shop (short journeys), but they also need it for long journeys as well. And Tesla cars cost far too much for the vast majority of motorists here and now.

        For example, a 3 year old Ford Focus bought by a private motorist costs c£10k. That’s 220,000+ miles of petrol before the Tesla cost breaks even. The various HP type schemes for new are just as bad for the Teslas. In any case PCP is proving a disaster for many. And it normally takes at least 7 years for the CO2 difference to break even anyway.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        An electric car is fine for you Andy. At least we all know that so long as we are not within a 50 mile radius of your home, we will never bump into you! See – every cloud …

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          I bet Andy would love the old days when he could drive his ZiL down the ZiL lane away from the peasants

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        “Most journeys we all make are short – and electric cars have no problem doing those.”

        Perhaps so for many – but many live in flats or houses with no where to park and what do they do when they do want to go on a long journey or tow something? Rent a car perhaps or have two cars?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        People from the UK worked lived and retired to Spain way before the EU was born.
        More nonsense project fear from you.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


          Really? Facts don’t support your argument.

          Over 300 000 Brits live in Spain now against just 70 000 in 1998, the only figures I could find.

          However. I can’t imagine that many British people chose to live in Spain under Franco’s dictatorship which didn’t end until his death in 1975, just 20 years earlier.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            That’s not a relevant fact.
            Look up the number of people who went to Spain on holiday in the 1970s.
            And compare it to today.
            The relative figure would be similar.
            It proves nothing.

            My point is that before freedom of movement people still moved to Spain to live work and retire.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 6, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            I also think Spain is very keen to keep UK people holidaying and living and working in Spain.
            They contribute many hundreds of millions to their economy.

      • Original Richard
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        “You do not travel 500 miles at night with the aircon on towing a trailer every week. And even if you do you’ll have to stop en route for petrol and a wee anyway.”

        Current BEVs cannot tow trailers because their battery’s power to weight ratio is too low and hence these vehicles are limited at the moment to small to medium passenger cars only.

        FCEVs are capable of towing and powering larger vehicles but the logistics of the transport and storage of hydrogen makes it less convenient than BEVs for small non-commercial vehicles.

      • Diligaf
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I’ve done a fair bit of power boating and sailing and understand the importance of fuel planning and range anxiety but have never needed a computer to do it for me – thrown in weather and tides… never been caught out.

        I see nothing more environmentally damaging, pointless and needlessly costly than leisure travel, so I don’t do it anymore. My ego doesn’t feel the need to have my sorry arse show up in different parts of the world for no good reason. Now there’s the problem of contagion to add to it all.

        But each to their own.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Battery technology is inefficient. Range needs to be doubled and charging times halved at the very least to even begin to make BEVs sensible. And even then their sales would depend on misguided incentives. For many BEVs are not a practical option. One day the voting public will wake up to the intent of the campaigners – that is to drive them out of their privately owned cars.

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      For most drivers electric cars are a perfectly reasonable option. The range is more than adequate for most motorists most of the time. And the charging time is absolutely fine in most circumstances.

      In any case you better get used to it because all cars will be electric before long.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Charging time may be fine but what about the time trying to find and then queue for a charging point ? There are six in my street serving maybe 500 cars. Are we going to have, say, 300 charging points here “before long” ?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          None in mine and none in the large car park in our nearest town.

      • MickN
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Every time this subject comes up all I can see is the slave children mining the cobalt for the batteries, batteries which no one has yet told me how they will be disposed of when the are finished.

      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Andy, No, existing BEVs are not a perfectly reasonable option for most drivers. That’s because most people need the option of long journeys as well, not instead. ICE cars fulfil that need in a way that BEVs can’t.

        Worse, BEVs are being touted only because they are supposed to “save” CO2, not because they’re good cars. But it takes typically 7 years or more for break even CO2, because batteries are toxic and BEVs use more CO2 to make.

        On top of that the government is not building any extra electricity generation capacity – so we have no need to “get used to it”, because it isn’t actually happening. Finally, of course, whilst mild warming has taken place, CAGW is a hoax.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Hey, Andy !

        You have a Chateaux sitting empty in France don’t you ?

        Ever thought of opening it up to refugees rather than it being a wasted planetary resource ? The kind hearted French shove these people onto muddy fields where they try to escape your beloved EU. Gawan. Be a sport.

        So you get an electric car and a few solar panels and think that offsets your excessive two-home lifestyle ?

        You’re exactly the kind of person who caused Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Range doubled at least, charge times to 1/10 of current at least, lighter and smaller too. Plus the batteries are very expensive up to £20,000 (compared to just £100 for fuel tanks), they depreciate, fail and decay rapidly too and the mining/manufacturing of them is expensive in energy and bad for the environment. They do not even save CO2 not that that is really a big problem.

      Battery R&D fine but early roll out pushed by the state is idiotic.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Then there is all the charging infrastructure and generation capacity and the parking places needed while they are charging.

      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, Indeed, it is not just about the cars but about the entire fuel and fuelling infrastructure. Moreover R&D is as likely to reduce CO2 output in ICE cars as in BEVs.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. It is not just battery R&D is needed. Not that C02 levels and small increases are really a significant problem anyway. We have a dearth of CO2 currently in historical terms.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      And there won’t be many electrics on the road..unless they revive that Sinclair C5 thing.
      But that makes me suspicious.
      Why was that cheap, little electric vehicle buried so quickly?
      Visions of things to come? Like absolutely FLOODING the roads with petrol cars bought on credit ( bankers rub hands…more debt) until the situation is really untenable ( parking, fumes etc).
      Then they pull the plug on petrol, there are far, far fewer cars on the road and those that remain will be uber expensive, luxury electric?
      And the rest of us on those extremely dangerous scooters.And probably confined to our designated area unless a travel permit is obtained.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer – may I suggest a slight change to your post? The aim of the campaigners is to drive EVERYONE ELSE out of their privately owned cars – so the roads are clear for the campaigners to drive on.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Yes why don’t we see these XR people interviewed and asked if they own cars? How many miles a week do they do in them? What purpose do they use them for? Why do they want to ban them exactly who are they intending to put off the roads just the working class so the middle classes can ride around without delay?

    • James1
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Ignore the claimed mileage range figures of electric vehicles. They don’t allow for driving at night in the winter with lights on, heater on, windscreen wipers on, radio on.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Or a passenger, adverse wind conditions.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Indeed best not to get stuck in snow on an icy night in one either. Best take a few blankets with you.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


    • czerwonadupa
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      That’s certainly the objective of the Mayor London. He’s so inept I can’t bring myself to mention his name. Sufficient to say he was a lawyer helping immigrants to avoid deportation. He wants Londoners to use Norman Tebbit’s mode of transport by telling Londoners to get a bike & use the “super highways” he’s spent millions on building. By bring traffic to a holt installing thousands of barriers restricting the width of the roads. he’s trying to force people to buy a bike or get back into using public transport as TFL must be losing millions as people stay at home, work from home or refuse to use public transport because of no social distancing when on the underground trains. My wife & I refuse to use London transport as it’s the equivalent of visiting an NHS hospital & exiting with the virus, as friends of ours have done.

  6. Bloke in Wales
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    It’s quite simple. To even consider buying an electric car, I’ll need one that has a range of at least 600 miles (while towing a loaded horse box) and can refuel in 5 minutes.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes count me in, and £24k new.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Well you can get a second hand diesel one that can do that for about £2K why pay £24K plus it would need a new battery after say 4 years & at vast expense.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Or after they get a few years old.
      I have a neighbour with a 5 yr old electric car.
      The original range now down by nearly half

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        All second hand electric cars will have ‘very low mileage’…

  7. formula57
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    So many factors about buying new now are off-putting that I doubt I could be induced to proceed any time soon, even if the Government undid the damage it has done and is doing.

  8. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Good article. I won’t be changing mine until it has given me a full fifteen years of service. Battery technology is not advanced enough for me to change my mind. Only when there’s a game-changing advance – graphene batteries? – would I even consider advancing my purchasing plans. So government might like to double-check the state of battery R&D in this country. And in the meantime, it should stop destroying our auto-industry – just like over-taxing business properties has decimated our high streets. If there’s a ray of fiscal sunshine right now, the Treasury might just look at the positive effects some COVID-related tax reductions/breaks are having on certain sectors.

  9. Sharon Jagger
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I will buy an electric car over my dead body.

    We have two diesel and one petrol car. Our diesel tow car will cost way too much in road tax to replace, so that stays as it. My husband’s diesel Mercedes, he loves and my low mileage petrol car is worth more to us than it’s value now.

    Electricity is very expensive and we neither of us think the way forward is electric vehicles. As has been discussed before, new cars are cleaner than ever before, but taxation is too high.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink


  10. Adam
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    What would be wrong with the Govt choosing the best way of proceeding and taxing the alternatives heavily to prevent them?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      They always choose the worst way to proceed, that’s the problem, then they tax the best businesses to extinction! It’s enough to make me consider rebelling!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      They would not spot “best” even if it punched them on the nose. They cannot even cancel HS2!

  11. agricola
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Talking of government being too slow to react, except negatively, a suggestion. We now have a Covid test that can be processed in an hour but the nearest facility might be at least 75 miles away. For the airline and travel industry the biggest problem is 14 days quaranteen. Jet 2 have just ceased flying to Spain for the second time citing government advice and action.

    Replace one air hostess with one person qualified to do the testing and do it on the flight into the UK with processing at the arrival airport and a Free From Infection certificate emailed to every passenger if appropriate. Job done, airlines back in business, and a vast number of people back in work. Leave it to private enterprise in the shape of airlines, just as was done with PPE at the outset. In both cases government has been totally inadequate, so get out of the way.

  12. Mick
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I have a electric car , I turn the key which energies the starter motor to turn my very efficient Diesel engine and power up, then run for hundreds of miles on a tank of fuel, so you can keep your limited electric vehicles I’ll stick to my reliable diesel any day

  13. Oldwulf
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Fewer miles are being driven.
    New vehicles are expensive.
    Vehicles last longer.
    The car industry is overdue a contraction.

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    When I can do 450 miles with lights, wipers and a/c on I will buy electric.
    When the power doesn’t seep away at 1% daily I may buy an electric car.
    I too buy British but will not hesitate to buy foreign if we can’t meet my needs.
    Get out of the way, let us decide.

  15. George Brooks.
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    The electric car is no more than an inner city or local run-about and until the problems of storage of power and recharging times have been resolved they will remain so.

    Before the internal combustion engine was invented we were better off with horse drawn carriages than with electric vehicles because you could change horses in a few minutes and carry on with your journey.

    This a classic example of a government pandering to an opinion before considering it practically and screwing up the economy. It needs to be unscrambled very quickly.

  16. Roger W Carradice
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    I had mentioned in an earlier post that I have yet to meet anybody who wants an electric car . Few of them have been taken in by the climate emergency hoax. It is clear from Extinction Rebellion and even the UN that it is a Trojan Horse to introduce socialism. I find it strange that the modern, so called, Conservative Party chooses ta align itself with such forces.

  17. Richard416
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The government should review its mad policy of promoting electric cars. Petrol and diesel engines have never been so clean and efficient, and they are probably more environment friendly than electric when you consider the batteries and copper consumption. Not to mention local councils destroying the environment with their virtually unused charging points all over the place.

  18. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The public knows that buying any type of new car is a rash financial move. The price of the new car includes the manufacturers profit, the dealers profit and VAT at 20% (unless the car is for business use) This add up to about 40-45%.

    Better to buy a nearly new car with say, 5000 miles on the clock where very significant savings can be had.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      If nobody bought new then there wouldn’t be any low mileage second hand cars.
      Do keep up

  19. Iain Moore
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    In its climate change zelatory it’s what the Government wants. I get the distinct feeling that a policy the Government couldn’t pursue in normal times, now under the cover of Covid , and via benign neglect, gets to where the Government wanted.

    The actions and non actions by the Government over the airline industry can only be designed to destroy it . Don’t quarantine areas of other nations , even not exempting islands, and slap a ban on the whole country if they get a local rise, is making taking holidays impossible. Then blank off any proposals by the industry to run a resting system, even though countries like Iceland have shown how to do it.

    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I won’t buy electric quite simply because the British State expects me to. I won’t have my life and my choices dictated by grubby politicians, rabid activists and parasitic bureaucrats who feed off private productivity to line their own pockets

    The political attack on the petrol car is an attack on our freedoms to from A to B in a continuous and convenient manner. At some point in the future every vehicle’s movement will be monitored internally and externally.

    There will be no space in our world that will be private except in our own imagination

    Your party and those undesirables opposite you share Parliament with now represent a direct threat to the very fabric of our lives

    Since 1990 I have watched how a vicious political class have stripped us bare to the bone and dragged our lives under total political and legislative control

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, Indeed, the UK political class has “dragged our lives under total political … control”. I can’t work out whether they don’t know what they’re doing, or whether they do, but won’t admit it. Both possibilities are creepy, and cultural marxist, in their different ways.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


      That they were given an 80 seat majority is good.

      It’s revealed them for what they really are. It’s now beyond dispute.

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Well personally I WAS planning to buy a new motor.
    BUT with this U bendy govt. how ON EARTH can I?
    How about if the moment I have handed over the eye watering cost of a new vehicle they bring out a law banning petrol cars …next week??
    And they WOULD if they wanted to …never mind any losses experienced by stupid old Joe Public. They’d say they wouldn’t do it and then they would!
    They locked us in our houses and have muzzled us…so what’s a brand new car here or there?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Oh and I would not touch an electric car with a barge pole until all the teething problems have been sorted.
      Anyway I reckon that the idea is to get as many people off the roads as possible.
      Our future no longer lies in motoring freely.
      And who wants to drive past acres of housing estates instead of fields?
      This country does not belong to us any more and the government has shown its true intentions.

  22. steadyeddie
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I would argue with your point of view- the decline in sales is much more to do with employment uncertainty, social distancing and Brexit then nonsense about government action. There has been no increase in fuel duty for ten years and electric charging is very cheap compared to a tank of petrol or diesel. The right approach is a mixed economy of petrol, diesel, electric and even hydrogen- that is roughly what is happening.

  23. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Reasons for not buying:
    -already have a reliable car
    -2000 miles this year versus 12000 miles usually
    -no realistic possibility of continental driving due to quarantine
    -being hounded with congestion charges and now road blocks in outer London
    -less visits to relatives and friends due to virus policies
    -government discouragement with higher and unknown future taxes
    -Zoom and Teams
    -a feeling that with all the above and the aggravation of driving it’s easier to stay local most of the time
    -not really interested in paying money to EU based car companies, and have no desire for others on offer

    I can’t think of any reasons for buying. Maybe if a driverless car came along, one would be worth looking at, but rather like the vaccine, I’d be somewhere down the line.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Buying my son his first second hand car revealed to me that second hand costs have gone up since I last bought one.

    I would never buy a new car. You have to be either rich or stupid to be prepared to blow five thousand pounds in a single minute, driving off a forecourt.

    Dealers have to get real about closing the gap between New and Nearly New prices, the second hand market has edged up a bit in their favour.

    The only way I would do such a silly thing as buy a new car is if it was heavily discounted or the government made investing spare money so pointless that you may as well live to-day. And any I did get would go to my kids.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


      Gary Lineker needs something pointed out to him.

      He calls the English ‘heartless’ but it is the French that are putting refugees in muddy fields and it is his beloved EU that the refugees are now seeking refuge from.

      Would he consider his new refugee lodger a Leaver or a Ramainer ?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        The inflatable dinghies remind me of his inflatable ego.

      • beresford
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        The majority of these illegal immigrants are NOT refugees, they are often from relatively prosperous peaceful countries. They are also not asylum-seekers, claiming asylum is just a tactic used to prevent immediate deportation. They are not in overcrowded dinghies because they can’t afford a P & O ticket, but because this is how weak-willed people can be made to ‘save’ and assume liability for them . Terminology is important in the propaganda of the immigrationists.

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Indeed the sensible thing to do for most people is to keep your old car or buy a second hand one if you need to. They are very cheap £1000 is plenty and far better than new electric cars at about £40.000. The depreciation on the battery alone PA is far more than the total running costs of my three cars.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Charles Moore is spot on as usual today:-

      The Civil Service has been infiltrated by extreme, politicised ideas about race
      Many in our bureaucratic elite are desperate to abase themselves before a creed that despises them.

      Newsnight last night was about 60% their usual anti-Trump pro Biden agenda and distorted/fake news. But the initial HS2 discussion was sensible. The government provided no one to defend the HS2 lunacy the best they could find was someone from some civil engineering trade body. I even found myself agreeing with the deluded archeologist Baroness Jenny Jones on this issue anyway. If the government cannot even cancel this what hope is there. It made zero sense even before Covid.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        If HS2 was to say the UK’s second biggest city with a population of say 3.5 million, with invaluable economic activity, and say it was where Birmingham was, and way cheaper than currently being budged for, and only have HS2 to this part of the UK (Phase 1), then go for it. But we’re nothing like that. I just simply cannot see the economic case for this (including giving the UK a brand refresh with a new High Speed Rail which I also get), the returns just aren’t there by a significant shot as I see it?

        • Ed M
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          Birmingham is a relatively small city. Not of invaluable economic importance let alone not being a cultural city with lots of beautiful, old buildings say like Bath (these type of cities attract business investment as well as putting it on international map more – but obviously somewhere such as Bath way too small) – to warrant all this money being spent on this train to it.

          This fails on both an economic and Brand Britain perspective.

          Instead, I’d like to see the government invest in developing London to Cambridge Rail and Cambridge to Oxford Rail and invest between Oxford and Cambridge areas to help boost a new UK Silicon Valley based around universities of Oxford and Cambridge and then develop areas in between.

          And then do something similar in the North but by focusing on one particular area (and not spending lots of money on Rail between the North and London – one day maybe – in 20 or so years time. But not now for lots of reasons). Perhaps Newcastle—Durham area. Don’t know.

  26. Nivek
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    From what I have read in the past few days, if you organised a protest against the Coronavirus Act, the police would have deprived you of £10,000 that you might otherwise have put towards a new car. If, on the other hand, you organised certain other protests of an apparently similar nature over the same period, a new car would be no less affordable. Perhaps the “stonking majority” could intervene to protect the pool of potential car purchasers from being affected in this seemingly arbitrary manner.

  27. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I have been in the market for a replacement for my 20 year old 4×4 double cab pickup for the last couple of years, originally purchased new when I had my own business it does not owe me a bean, it still looks good, runs well and is reliable, but its replacement means a huge investment, (investment the wrong word for any vehicle unless its a classic) so I have been holding off.
    I no longer need a pick up, but would like the comfort, space, safety and high driving position of a largish SUV.

    Would I purchase new, unlikely given the huge depreciation of all new vehicles, and the fact that in 5 years time even a hybrid under current legislation will likely to be hit hard with its then low value.

    So I have waited, and will continue to wait until my old truck fails its MOT and is totally uneconomical to repair, before I eventually make a decision.

    I have a short list of sorts, but afraid unfortunately none of them are made in the UK.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Next car will certainly not be electric, far, far too expensive and not flexible enough on range and charging times, afraid the cost of replacement batteries would preclude a second hand vehicle of this type.

      Would perhaps consider a hybrid, but then they fall into the same “want them banned” Government category as simple diesel or petrol vehicles.

      Hydrogen too far in the future for even thinking about it at the moment.

      So looks like choice is probably a 3-4 year old petrol or diesel were most of the depreciation has been lost by someone else, and then run it until its life expired.

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    well the freelancer web forums are full of suicidal people, talk of recruitment stopping completely, the few gigs going being filled by work visa holders with skills already in oversupply being given massive tax perks to undercut locals, IR35, projects going belly up as perm staff are unable to complete. public sector projects being staffed corruptly on the old boys network ensuring that the worse possible combination of completely inappropriate people are lined up, lack of help from the chancellor and his clear pro big consultancy/outsourcer bias.

    its not pretty.

  29. Peter
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    London is becoming more difficult for driving.

    A whole section of Hammersmith and Fulham is now only accessible to residents vehicles, with fines for others who enter.

    Cycle lanes now reduce car space on many roads.

    So there is no great advantage in getting a new car for many Londoners.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      There are no areas of Hammersmith and Fulham accessible to residents only.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Other parts of West London seem to have been turned into mazes this week by the council placing large planters in the middle of accesses to residential roads.

      • Peter
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes, we now have ‘Low Emission Zones’, ‘Ultra Low Emission Zones’ and a Congestion Charge Zone which may expand outwards.

        In Lewisham/Greenwich there are also rows about the selection of areas for zoned for less traffic, as those in neighbouring areas say they pay the price with more traffic now using their areas as an alternative. A mother whose young daughter officially died from air pollution says the new arrangements make her air quality worse.

        None of this will encourage Londoners to buy a new car.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Khan and councils are making it very clear visitors to London are not welcome, which means it can no longer function as our capital city.

  30. Chris Dark
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    We are not needing a replacement car right now and will not for at least ten years. The battery cars I’ve seen are small dinkie things with limited mileage. OK for towns but no use for driving holidays; and no use for carrying our excess garden waste and other stuff to the local tip. I can’t afford a Tesla. The government thinks it can browbeat us all into going electric by punishing the petrol/diesel user and banning the cars entirely in fifteen years’ time. I believe the carrot at present is low or no roadtax; once everyone had gone electric, they would all return to paying road-tax anyway.
    Others have already highlighted the battery technology issues. It’s a non-starter. And as for the National Grid being able to supply said power for all these cars….

  31. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I had a plug in hybrid car for 4 years, recently exchanged for a petrol. There were two deciding factors for the change back to petrol. 1, The battery and all the complicated electrics come off warranty at 5 years old so the manufacturer (Mercedes) must think this age of vehicle is going to present them with expensive warranty claims . 2, I want a spare wheel and all electric vehicles, plug in or pure electric , don’t have one. I’ve been caught once with a flat tyre with unrepairable side wall damage which caused me considerable inconvenience. Never again.
    The vehicle tax regime is a joke, and the vilification of diesel really unnecessary . A few people in the Treasury have decimated the car industry.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Arthur Wrightiss

      People in the treasury are following Goves stupid out burst. That man has almost single handed destroyed our car industry and its support services.

  32. Fred H
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    We have considered buying a new car for a while. Currently hesitating watching the political shambles unfold, with much, much worse not just on the horizon, but about to start hitting jobs. Will we need to be the bank of mum and dad?
    Electric purchase is never going to happen, diesel also no thanks, we don’t need big engine power to tow anything. So we are thinking smallish engine hatchback, the flexibility maximised. Not French, preferably not EU- what should it be?

  33. a-tracy
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    John as soon as the Germans have something to offer you’ll see a change in government taxation and promotion. Mercedes have already started to make noises to push their new electrics. Our government is still led rather than leading.

  34. IanT
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I own a five-year old small petrol (1.4ltr) hatchback that is in good condition and has less than 40K on the clock. I get about 33mpg around town and on a long motorway run can get very near 50. I’ve just filled the tank up (it was still a quarter full) for the first time since February – so have done very little mileage this year (we are not going anywhere) and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

    Why do I need to buy a new car when my existing vehicle is running perfectly well? You don’t need electric vehicles to protect the environment, you need to people to start using and maintaining what they already have.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      My diesel Jag xf 2.0l gave me 50mpg.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      My 1.8 petrol, automatic Toyota Avensis estate does 40 mpg. I’m very happy with that.

  35. a-tracy
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Government build up big towns out in the sticks at least 40 minutes from nearest Cities that you need a car to get to at convenient times and public transport when it does run takes 1 hour 30 minutes. The teens there get trapped. You have to have a car to do anything because key planning decisions put all resources, entertainment and better paid jobs outside of that area and in the Cities that you don’t want us to drive to!

    Government make decisions based on London a City very well connected, you need to speak to MPs that actually live a 30 minute public bus ride away from the nearest train station with only one train per hour!

  36. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I feel the better course of action would be to research into the manufacture of synthetic fuels, using vegetable matter, rather than attempting to improve battery technology.
    Let the power stations energise the conversion plants and distribute liquid fuel, rather than distributing electricity in quantities the grid currently can’t cope with.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      What will we eat if the fields are dedicated to growing car fuel? Coal?

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      There plenty of vegetable matter in the brains of the zealots trying to force green technology onto us. When you ready about green technology it is never particularly green. It’s usually very ugly and very inconvenient.

      • turboterrier
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Stephen Priest.

        Totally correct

  37. SM
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    In terms of market share, how many people buy cars on the basis of the vehicle being an ‘interesting proposition’ in relation to those of us who buy a replacement car when it actually becomes necessary to do so?

    In my own experience, we changed vehicles when circumstances changed, ie down-sizing, less driving done when I became the sole driver, keeping all the operating systems as simple and straightforward as possible and ensuring maintenance was straightforward. Impressing other people with apparent demonstrations via our purchase of personal wealth, taste or green credentials rated zero.

  38. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Electric cars powered by distant power points that often do not work, that cost a lot of money to buy new, that depend on massive more generation of electricity which, so we are told, will be provided by wind and solar power.
    That is why we are underwhelmed.

  39. Dave, Spencers Wood.
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I’m not planning on changing my car until next summer at the earliest. And the only reason I’m thinking of changing the car is due to a change in our requirements. My experience is that modern cars, if you chose correctly, are built so well that it is perfectly possible to run one for a decade or longer.

    The change won’t be done any sooner due to the economic uncertainty arising from the end of transition and it may not be done next year at all. I checked the VED situation in the range I was considering, nope not an issue.

    Perhaps you should take this up with Mr Sunak?

  40. Wil Pretty
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    ICE Cars have become far more reliable over the last 50 years. As a result they last much longer and therefore use much less resources from the planet than they used t0.
    My current diesel I expect to do 200,000 miles before it needs scrapping. Thats 20 years use.
    Electric batteries do not last that long.

  41. dixie
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I had to replace my ageing diesel which had not lived up to the expectations of “superior” German engineering, despite my relatively low mileage, at the height of Dieselgate in 2018 – Vorsprung durch obselekenz. I tried a new EV even though the longest trip I needed to take regularly was over the battery range so it was a bit of a leap. But, 95% of my journeys were quite short so I took the plunge and none of the horrors of the evphobes ever happened. By the nature of the trip I could always do destination charging but had established where public chargers were in case of need.
    I will be replacing the current BEV next year with another BEV where the replacements currently offer a more than adequate 250 mile range versus the 150 miles of the current vehicle. 250 miles is close to the range I was getting from a full tank in my previous car.
    I charge for free from my roof panels for the fast majority of travel and most long distance I do would offer destination charging. Where intermediate rapid charging were needed, for example Reading to Keswick, that is currently 30 minutes for a 20-80 charge on my planned vehicle, which is no hardship as part of a 5+ hour trip.
    On cost, I prefer to lease rather than own so see transport as a service not an investment. There has been no material difference in outlay but fuelling is very much cheaper and I am getting more mileage out of the tyres and brake pads than on my previous ICE vehicle. There are already some plans which allow you flexibility in the vehicle choice during the contract – use a city car most of the time and a large cruiser for the occasional longer journey. I think this is the way things will go in time anyway.

  42. dixie
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I would prefer to buy a UK built vehicle – you should be far more concerned about the destruction of UK owned manufacturing than the problems of foreign owned car makers being being the technology and engineering curve.

    We had a graphic example of the behaviour of so-called ethical and law abiding states over medical supplies during the Covid pandemic, what do you think is going to happen when the ever growing global middle classes start fighting for oil and energy.

    Why does this government have no policy at all on Critical Materials?

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      The Chinese having cornered the market on rare earth materials , then sought to limit their exports .

      We also have the Chinese and Oil rich states buying up agricultural land . meanwhile our lot are trying to stuff people into the country to make us even more unsustainable. Apparently adding 15 to 20 million people to our population is a Greta Zero Carbon approved policy, maybe I am stupid but I can’t figure out how.

    • dixie
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      … being behind the technology and engineering curve.

  43. GilesB
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Uber expects that in ten years private car ownership will be displaced by fleets of autonomous vehicles, of various capacities, that will drive themselves to and from pick-up and drop-off points.

    Sounds plausible to me. Let them manage the charging etc. So I am not going to invest money on home charging stations and electric cars. I don’t think the U.K. government should either.

    I might get an electric bike …

    • Original Richard
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Even if there is a vaccine for Covid-19 I wouldn’t be getting into a driverless vehicle used by dozens if not hundreds of people before me unless a way is found to clean the vehicle after each trip.

      At least with a taxi driver you can expect the car to be clean if only for his/her sake.

      I think people will still want their own vehicle.

  44. Know-Dice
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Current Electric Vehicle technology is like the low energy CF lights we were all forced to use. Remember those – dim didn’t last long and were filled with mercury…

    I’m going to wait until the equivalent of LED bulbs are available for EVs before making the leap…

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Know- Dice.

      Yes we cut out the in between stage as well after testing just one bulb in one location, it was clearly was not fit for purpose, so we retained all of our original bulbs (lamps) until LED was fully developed, thus from standard lights to LED in one jump.

  45. glen cullen
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    There is only one thing which would increase the manufacture and sales of cars

    And its simple…..let market forces flourish and not government control

  46. RichardP
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I have been a loyal customer to a certain car manufacturer since the late 70’s. My current car is coming up to 3 years old and, when purchased, it was the only straightforward non-hybrid, non-turbo, petrol model in their entire range. It was also the cheapest which was a bonus.

    They have now dropped that model from the UK market and their entire range is either diesel or various types of electric or hybrid. In short, there is nothing in their UK catalogue that I would want at ANY price.

    I have found, to my cost, that as cars become more complex they become less reliable. My previous car was petrol but it had a very small 3 cylinder engine and a large turbo, reliability was a nightmare and I got rid of it after the third breakdown and a total of six weeks off the road waiting for repairs.

    As the Government roll out more and more so called SMART motorways reliability is now a matter of life and death. Regardless of what Government ministers would have us believe, we all know that you can spend up to 20 minutes waiting in a live traffic lane before you are even spotted and considerably longer waiting for a breakdown rescue. Electric car with a flat battery on a new ‘cheap’ motorway, no thank you!

    Could it also be that people don’t relish a test drive wearing a face mask?

    It looks as though I will be keeping my current vehicle for the foreseeable future.

  47. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    My nephew, who works for a Bank, has just handed in his jag on which he paid about £8k pa for an electric car on which he will pay nothing. The car will also be charged at the bank each day, so they pay for the fuel too, it will be used purely for this commute. It will not be used at weekends, when the Velar will provide all normal travel needs: range, speed, comfort and safety.

    Those are the only conditions under which anyone would agree to go ‘electric’. Totally free – and you hand it in before the battery starts playing up.

    Personally I would not have an electric car even if it was free. Doing as they say encourages stupid politicians (of whom there are many) who delude themselves that they have ‘influenced the stupid population’.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink


      Your last para says a lot, especially the last sentence. Talk about ‘cut off the nose to spite the face’!

      “Stupid politicians” – “Stupid population”


      • NickC
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, As ever you have not understood what’s been written. It’s the stupid politicians who think the public is stupid, not Lynn A. And buying a petrol car is hardly “cutting the nose off to spite the face” is it?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Lynn, hurray for the Velar. I driVE one. Beautiful car. I live it. Shove your electric rubbish.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes – we are all prepared to,pay money for the Velar! The electric skate-board has to be free… is successfully giving cars away counted as ‘selling’ in the Treasury 😂😂

  48. David Williams
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Fewer cars will be needed because people are working from home permanently.

    • MickN
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The same reasoning can be applied for the 100 billion pound (so far) HS2, but the government says we have to go ahead with it.

  49. MG
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    ‘ Despite the recent exit from lock down’

    I am not sure that this statement is correct, in the real world at least.

  50. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to mention that in the towns where we have commercial property, demand is unprecedented!

  51. NickC
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    What would it take to get me to buy a new battery electric car (BEV)? Quadruple the existing practical range; half hour charge time; 15 year guarantee on the battery; real evidence that these toxic batteries can be safely and economically re-cycled.

    Above all it would take the government building the power stations to fuel BEVs. Until the government does so (actual building, not waffling) BEVs are a dead duck. And Windmills don’t hack it because the wind is intermittent, so needs dispatchable back up. Nuclear cannot by switched in seconds, so that means Gas fired electricity generation.

    • JohnK
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink


      I agree with your points.

      Some people seem to think battery technology must get better over time, a bit like silicon chips. But this is not the case. Battery technology cannot advance in the same way, and we may be approaching the limits of what batteries can do.

      I deplore the way this supposedly Conservative government has swallowed the climate change scam hook line and sinker. They can decree all electric cars by 2035, but as you say, without massive investment in electricity generation, the electric cars will be going nowhere. We are facing an economic catastrophe of massive proportions. Unfortunately few politicians seem to be able to think beyond one parliamentary term. Yet 2035 is really not far away, and the actions of this government will bring ruin upon the nation.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Less than 15 years.

  52. Walt
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I offer an example. My wife and I have deferred renewing our one car because of EU and HMG policies and taxes. One estate car does for both of us, this one is diesel-engined at the then encouragement of HMG. EU taxes on manufacturers and the mistaken green agenda has resulted in the new edition of this vehicle having a heavy battery and motor and a small highly-turbocharged petrol engine, which latter is not nice to drive; its purchase price has rocketed, it is caught by HMG’s new ‘luxury’ car tax, and HMG are against hybrids anyway. Several times a year I travel to a business about 120 miles away, on an industrial estate near a small town, park in a communal car park about 100 yards from the buildings for the 1-2 hours of the meeting, typically have two further short trips totalling about 25 miles, then return home. Total up to 300 miles. The car park has no electric recharging facility. We would like a similar-sized new car with a straight six (ideally naturally aspirated if petrol), or a decent turbocharged four if we must, but we don’t want a small or medium electric car with limited range, nor have to hunt for a vacant charging point with a connector that fits the car. At least when we want to put fuel in our present car we don’t have to look for a filling station with a pump nozzle of the right type! Here we have new electric technology pushed upon us and regulators can’t even agree on a common standard recharging plug and socket. So, for now we keep the old car going, which at least provides work for our local garage.

  53. MickN
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I abhor but accept that Priti Patel says she can’t deal with illegal immigrants in the channel because the EU is tying her hands. Can you please find out who is tying her hands in removing people who are allowed to block roads in this country to stop people getting their morning papers. There is a demonstration in Dover today against illegal immigration and I will have any amount of a bet with you that these people will not be allowed to block roads. Police horses are already present.

    • XYXY
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly. Whoever is allowing the climate nuts to commit illegal acts, while preventing others from doing so, needs to be removed.

    • Edwardm
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      What is going on by the authorities and our government.
      A small protest against illegal immigration is heavily policed.
      An inoffensive person sitting on public transport not wearing a mask (claiming a medical reason not to) is roughed-up by the police – surely only need to ask that he presents medical proof some time soon.

      Yet mass disruption by XR against the press is tolerated because it might upset their rights.
      For God’s sake what is going on.
      Does our government seriously expect us to put up with all the nonsense being directed at decent people ?

  54. XYXY
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I’m driving around in a 14 year old diesel because I don’t know what to buy. And because I have no interest in a pure electric car that has no range and refills in hours rather than minutes.

    These are all points that you have raised in previous articles.

    I am also unconvinced by climate change “science” so I cannot get behind any push towards electric vehicles for that reason, although emissions are of concern for more reasons than that.

    What would it take to get me to buy soon? Well, an electric car that can be quickly recharged (5 minutes max) to give it some long distance capability (or a range of 1,000 miles or more in all weather conditions).

    However, with the endless discussion about banning diesels by 2040 then 2030 then some other time… I will probably buy a reasonably new second-hand diesel at some stage and run it as long as I can.

    So the only thing that would work now is a change of govt policy to allow fossil fuels (with restrictions on emissions, efficiency etc) or to allow for the possibility of highly-efficient hybrid cars. Some of these claim 130 mpg and as they become increasingly efficient with design improvements, the consumption of fossil fuel will drop over time.

    The govt needs to drop this carbon neutral by 2030 target – it’s nonsense.

    • L Jones
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Well said, XY. It’s hard to imagine the number of people who will be put off committing to buy any new vehicle at the moment, except one of these electric ones (after all, there’s plenty of electric coming out of every wall, isn’t there?)
      It seems that car sales in the US are actually on the up – but then, they would be, as soon as people become optimistic enough to spend money on what may be luxuries. They’re not in thrall to this ludicrous and crippling ‘green’ madness.

  55. BetterTimes
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink


    What a dilemma!

    Living in a rural location and not being a city dweller, what should I do?
    Stick with my 4 year old, very economical, petrol car.
    £30 per annum vehicle tax.
    I get in, refuel when I need to (it only takes 5 minutes), and I can go anywhere at will. Truly chilled!


    Trade “down” to one of their battery cars.
    Pay a fortune.
    Give myself unnecessary stress, that I don’t have now, and want.

    Always needing to plan journey distances and my recharge options. Being worried as I see the battery level dwindling. Turning off air-con and other accessories to conserve power. Worrying about running out of juice at night on a country road. Oh no! Is that another steep hill ahead. Sweat, sweat, can I make it?

    No – I’ll stick at the moment thanks very much.
    No doubt some taxation wizard is already drawing up plans to massively increase vehicle taxation for petrol and diesel cars…to force us into their battery cars.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink


  56. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Sir John you write above about a large decline in business purchases.

    As with HS2 might that have more to do with cars no longer being needed as business is hiding from each other and communicating from their kitchen tables by video rather than tax policy, however misguided

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      What is the new mantra? “I am so much more productive from home”

  57. XYXY
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Something you may be able to chase up better than I.

    A few years ago there was a discovery at MIT I believe. A group there discovered that lithium batteries have “bubbles” in the material and that these affect how the battery performs in terms of charging speed, longevity etc. What they found was that the more the bubbles were aligned, the faster the battery charged.

    When they made a battery where the bubbles were 100% aligned, the battery charged instantly, didn’t wear out and had no “memory” issues.

    I was expecting this to become a commercial reality, so I watched out for a start-up, planning to invest, particularly because USA law allows lecturers to go into partnership with students to take ideas forward and to benefit financially (as happened with Google).

    However, years later (5 – 10 years?) I have seen nothing more on this. There is always a possibility that the patent was bought by a battery company and buried (they won’t get rich on batteries that last forever) or that something else has prevented this from making it into production. Perhaps there’s some avenue of exploration that might tell us more?

    • NickC
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      XYXY, I suspect you have been misled. All battery charging is exponential, so the initial charge rate is far higher than when the battery gets near its capacity. Also you cannot overcome the physics of the transfer of energy – that’s nothing to do with the battery per se. So the quicker you charge the higher the current. Single phase households are limited to about 7kW or around 8 hours to charge 60kWhr of a 70kWhr battery. Even with 3-phase you’d be looking at around 120A per phase (400V) for 42 minutes. That’s industrial levels so difficult enough; but charging in the time it takes to fill with petrol is not practical.

      • Original Richard
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        With current technology the faster a battery is charged the quicker it degrades.

        Hence BEVs are ideally used for short trips and slowly charged overnight.

        Attempting long trips with frequent fast charges of the battery soon leads to battery degradation and the necessity for a new battery.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Moreover as energy density improves to achieve the 500 mile range it is likely that the batteries will go up to 100 to 200 kWhr.

  58. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    100 Tory MPs apparently want petrol/diesel/hybrid cars banned by 2030 so why on earth would I risk buying one of those now ? Its value would go to zero within a few years and it would be unsaleable long before 2030. Buying an all-electric car is also a big risk at the moment as there is no move to build the millions of new charging points required (or the new power stations to support them) and I have no confidence the government could deliver such a project on time anyway. So I will stick with my very old high-pollution diesel vehicle for as long as it keeps running.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Yep. My brother-in-law who has an aircraft hanger full of exotic cars (which attract no CGT when you sell one and make £8million profit) is now slowly and quietly selling them all. When the internal combustion engine is banned, there go the Model T Fords and the whole history of personal transport too, and no investment value.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink


  59. ChrisS
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    What would it take me to buy an electric car ?

    First, one has to consider what the car is used for.
    I have two cars that are used for quite different purposes.

    The Audi A7 is used for UK use, both locally and longer trips.
    It is ideal, having a range of almost 600 miles and a “recharging time” of 4 minutes.
    For very local trips an electric car would be ideal but then it becomes more difficult.
    Typical regular journeys are to Devon and back on business, 92 miles each way plus running about. A absolute minimum of 240 miles in any conditions would be essential. Stopping to recharge for an hour would be a damned nuisance on what is already a busy day. My first choice, a Jaguar iPace, most definitely cannot do this journey, I have tried it.

    The second type of journey is weekends away in the Midlands, typically Warwick. That’s 135 miles each way where we stay at a friend’s house. If we took the iPace there, it would have to remain on charge at our friend’s house at her expense, for 35 hours to gain enough charge to get home. Otherwise we would have to go to a charging point and wait around for up to a couple of hours. An imposition we can do without.

    The sports car is used for European tours to Italy and the driving roads in the Alps. The only car that meets the criteria for this is the new Porsche Taycan. My local dealer is lending me one to try but at £115,000 minimum it is far too expensive for me to consider as a brand new purchase. Although the Porsche has the capability of recharging at 800v, there are almost no 800v chargers anywhere. Normal chargers take too long a time to replenish when our 5749cc V12-petrol engined sports car can do a minimum of 450 miles and is quick to refuel.

    So the criteria for the Porsche Taycan would need to be :
    Range of 400 miles
    10%-100% recharging time of 15 minutes on readily accessible chargers anywhere.
    Cost : about 60-75% of the current pricing.

    If my wife could be pursuaded to swap her beloved 2003, 49,000 mile Mercedes A Klasse for an electric car, we would need to spend about £30,000 on a Golf GTE but the Mercedes is perfect for her and is in superb condition, but is now pretty worthless.
    The £30,000 is an expense we do not need and my wife wants to keep her little Mercedes.

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      As depreciation is by far the greatest part of running costs, at the age of 68, I plan to keep the A7 indefinitely. Whatever extra tax the government adds to fuel, it will never exceed the depreciation on any replacement. As for the sports car, that is appreciating in value so it is extremely unlikely I will ever replace it.

  60. XYXY
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    There is a confluence of technologies that is set to change transport.

    1. Electric cars.

    2. Driverless cars.

    3. An Uber-style business model.

    When you take these three together, you end up with “Transport as a Service” or TaaS.

    In this model, car ownership is a thing of the past We have an app on our phones that calls (or pre-books) a “cab”, gives the details (no of passengers, luggage, destination, pick-up point, any return journey details etc)… and an electric “pod” duly arrives, makes its way through the traffic, arriving on time since there are no hold-ups with 100% driverless cars.

    Perhaps the govt would do well to spend some of Mr Cummings’ “get behind technology” drive to get behind making this a reality?

    It solves the problems of range by taking the problem out f the hands of the individual and into the hands of a company (who can manage the problem by having the right number of vehicles, using logistical algorithms, as delivery companies do now).

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      I am unsure that removing so much control from the individual is a safe idea.

      Communist Bulgaria was known to operate under a culture of fear, but also of control. When it was necessary to prevent mobility of the people, it was simple to switch the trams off.

      Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink


      • Anonymous
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        Much more *empty* movements of vehicles – a criticism of public transport today.

    • Margaret bj
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      These are the options we have been awaiting however they will probably be far too expensive for most.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Where is ‘the confidence’ you speak of?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      So today I go to ASDA, after waiting for my auto car coming out of ASDA I wait for another auto car.
      I take the shopping home then an hour later go to my mothers(I’m her carer.
      After lunch I wait for another auto car to take me home then I have to go to B&Q.
      An awful lot of hanging about which won’t be a vote winner.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, Government gets to control the actions and minds therfore the will of people of this once free nation. There was once a TV program illustrating this with Patrick McGoohan – The Prisoner

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      If this was such a good idea XYXY why don’t the government show people now with the public bus service in low use areas We don’t have the driverless option available yet but Uber and others do have the technology why don’t our bus companies, they are bigger and more profitable? Why don’t the government lead from the front by expecting this from public subsidised transport operators?

      Our of interest where do you live urban or suburban?

  61. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Yes aggressive Vehicle Excise duties along with the Extinction Rebellion duo of Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps, have gone out of their way to ensure the car is killed off.

    A religious belief up there with the most fanatical fanatics you can think of, “you are not convinced by our mantra, we will punish you and the country until you are.” That’s fanatical bizarre thinking.

    There is no logical commercial reason for their actions other they must think they are the new disciples of XR

    If you cant afford a car ‘you will’ use public transport. What public transport? You can just about get around in London by public transport, but the rest of the country? Oh, I for got for the next millennium we have to pay down the cost of HS2 so there is no money for improvements elsewhere.

    I am a conservative through and through, but this shower what are they were did they come from? There is not a spark of sensible thinking between them it is all virtual signalling to dance to anyone’s tune, but those that have an interest in a healthy prosperous UK.

    It is all ego from this crowd with not a scintilla of interest of getting the country on a stable footing

  62. Caterpillar
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    At a personal level I don’t support batteries until the U.K. has an automated, safe Li ion battery recycling infrastructure. I think it is anti-environmental to do so.

    Generally the chasm between early adopter and pragmatist for discontinuous technology adoption has been known since G. Moore discussed at the end of last century. The penetration of EV in the U.K. is approaching that chasm so it will run up against a pragmatic population, mostly with lower income.

    Given the suburban sprawl model that the U.K. (at least England) is operating under and extending, it is difficult to see that current E.V. can, at this time, be appreciated as a pragmatic solution. There are three approaches to making E.V. the pragmatic choice

    (i) It has to be better – more infrastructure, better performance, cheaper
    (ii) The alternatives can be removed – banning ICE / taxing fuels highly / removing petrol stations, switching off public transport etc.
    (iii) People buying into the environmental benefit to the extent that they are willing to be bear the (opportunity) cost.

    For a large number of pragmatists, I suspect (iii) will not happen through a global climate change argument and certainly not through buying a vehicle that signals alignment with the apparent pseudo-quasi-terrorist behaviour of XR. Buying in to an environmental argument has to be done locally and there is zero signalling of this. Many, many people live in areas in which rubbish is not even collected properly, there is massive fly-tipping, noise pollution from neighbours is accepted (since this is a council not a police issue) etc. – basically a large proportion of the population live in widespread (urban and suburban) public filth – with policies such as congestion charging just signalling more costs and inconvenience with no benefit. If ‘we’ want people to buy into EV as a ‘universal desirable’ then ‘we’ need to reach the state in which many more are living in visibly clean (+ less criminal, + less noisy etc.) local environments. If it is not seen as worth protecting by the community then the costs will not be borne. EV will not catalyse a change, it requires planning based around cities, and probably some kind of respect for the country as an entity – a vision of Teslas (or electric Jags) for the privileged is not going to be a vision with which most can share.

  63. Treacle
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I live in a top-floor flat in a city centre. My petrol car is parked wherever I can find a residents’ space (not easy), generally several streets away. I don’t see any plans to fit electric charging points at every parking space in the country. And none of my local filling stations offer electric charging. They would not be able to function if cars sat there for hours, instead of three minutes, while refuelling: there isn’t the space. So why would I buy an electic car?

    It would be good if the advocates of electric cars, i.e. the government, could explain to us how they would expect us to recharge an electric car if we don’t live in a house with its own adjacent parking. Is there a plan to fit charging points down every street in the country? They don’t say. I’d guess there isn’t, and that electric cars will therefore never be feasible.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink


  64. Ian Wilson
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I will not buy an electric car until 1) it is no longer necessary to mine 200 tons of material for every battery and children no longer risk their lives mining cobalt and 2) there is reliable electricity generation not dependant on wind and sun. California is showing the folly of over-reliance on renewables with blackouts and Teslas stuck with flat batteries. Rolls-Royce are ready with SMRs if only the government would wean itself from obsession with wind power.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wilson

      Wean itself off of wind power?

      With the lot we have got at present no chance The power companies are running this country. You will be walking on water before they even consider it’s the biggest con of all time.

  65. Jiminyjim
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I recently pulled into a motorway services and parked next to a new electric BMW which was plugged in, recharging.
    When I left, I noticed that the charging station was flashing a warning saying ‘Error charging’. Until problems like that are resolved, forget it.
    Besides which, electric cars are very environmentally unfriendly on almost every level. Even a ‘green loon’ friend agrees that this is totally the wrong way to go.
    Leave electric cars to rich leftie urban uninformed elites like Andy.

  66. L Jones
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    ”What would it take…..”? It would take the government to get rid of all these pointless and by now ridiculous ”rules” concerning this almost non-existent virus. People by now what they have to do to be ”careful” (or ”SAFE” in Newspeak).
    I can’t be the only one who will not go shopping for ANYTHING if I have to wear a muzzle. I have money to spend, and I was looking forward to spending it. I was going to begin with local shops and was planning to go on a spree – then the Muzzle-Up Project was introduced.
    At a stroke, your government put an end to any proper recovery in the retail sector, or any pleasure in helping where we could. And yes, a new car WAS on the list. But I’m damned if I’ll go around, ready to spend my money, when I have to be muzzled to speak to a salesperson.

  67. Mark
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Never mind the inadequacies of the cars. Consider the inadequacy of local electricity distribution, which is simply not designed to handle high proportions of households running continuous loads for recharging. They take advantage of the fact that your kettle boils quickly, so you are not going to overlap with all your neighbours when you use it.

    A move to EVs will require the complete recabling of local e.ectricity networks, digging up all the streets at very considerable expense. It was utterly mislieading of National Grid the other day to suggest there isn’t a problem delivering the electricity (while also complaining volubly about OFGEM’s proposals to limit the permitted return on new grid investment). The problems may not be quite so severe for the high voltage transmission grid if they can fix it for most charging to be done overnight when demand is lower, but they are gargantuan for distribution networks as EV market penetration rises. Big rises in electricity bills to pay for it all too. No wonder OFGEM wanted to eliminate most of the permitted return on assets.

  68. Rhoddas
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Agreed Sir John, this is more evidence of meddling left wing policies by successive Tory governments, here are some further bad taxation policies:

    * Successive extra taxation measures on private landlords by who are now even unable to evict or collect on overdue rental monies.
    * Expansion of IR35 rules for contractors and the self employed / re-introduction of dividend tax (on top of corporation tax).

    Frankly shameful – all of the above need repealing and as others on this site have commented “allow market forces to operate”.

    I signed a contract hire 3 year agreement for a petrol car built in Czech Republic as it was just a really great deal – post lockdown – and available on the date required. Would have preferred an hybrid/PHEV assembled in the UK but couldn’t find one, but will try for this again next time and I hand my then obsolete petrol SUV back…

  69. TooleyStu
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I lined up a few cars to purchase, even test drove some…

    Then 75% of my business dissipated overnight.. around March 2020 I recall,
    It has yet to return.

    As customer confidence in our future has been destroyed by 24/7 media coverage of a ‘not very deadly’ cold with a 99.95% survival rate…

    I will not be buying electric-petrol-diesel-or hybrid anything for some time.

    Best regards, as ever,
    Tooley Stu

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I made the mistake of supporting a comment yesterday “Eat Out to Help Out saved businesses from closing”

      Social distancing is killing our economy.

      Very few people I know are sticking to social distancing except those places required by law to have it.

      And still… I don’t think I know anyone who’s had CV19 much less anyone who’s died from it but I do know TWO people (both under 50) who have died on hospital waiting lists for other illnesses. And then there are the suicides that seem to have shot up in this vicinity.

      Get this government and Prime Minister out of office now.

    • Barbara
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Terrible. There is going to be a lot more of that kind of pain on the way. I hate to think, for instance, what is going to happen to a lot of people when their furlough pay ends.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Redundancy ! Followed by rent and mortgage arrears. Followed by eviction. Followed by social and economic deprivation.

        People’s hopes, dreams and lives being destroyed, once again (ERM) by the Tories.

  70. Ginty
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    What will make people buy new cars ?

    Security of income and employment.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      BINGO !!

  71. Edwardm
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    All based on the false premise that CO2 causes climate change.

    The government is largely responsible through its tax policies and disparaging messaging for causing uncertainty among new car purchasers.
    New diesel and especially petrol cars burn fuel very cleanly.
    Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid cars should be encouraged as a good combination, of cleanliness, fuel economy and range, and speed of re-fuelling. Instead they are going to be banned as well as other non-hybrid fossil fuel cars.

    Surely the fuel type should be determined by consumer choice and not government bans.

  72. John Hatfield
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Living in Scotland with family in the south of England I want a vehicle with decent range and a quick refuelling time. Electric does not fit the bill.

  73. John Hatfield
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Living in Scotland with family in the south of England I need a car with decent range and a quick refuelling time. Electric does not meet that need.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I find even living in Shropshire with family on the south coast.

  74. Andrew Dykes
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Electric engines may be the future for cars, but only if the refuelling/range issue is solved. Present battery technology cannot do this. It may in the future, who knows, or maybe we’ll solve hydrogen storage and production problems (which I personally think is more likely) so fuel cells can power cars. Until then, electric motors represent a step back and won’t be willingly adopted by many, so sales growth will be slow. That may be the case for many years.

    Meanwhile, no one wants a new diesel or petrol car because government policy is so capricious. A car is expensive and legislation could render it worthless overnight, so why buy? My wife has a 2014 BMW X1, which at the time was ultra eco friendly, so only £30 a year Road Tax liability. But now, because it’s Euro 5 compliant not Euro 6, it isn’t ULEZ compatible and soon she won’t be able to drive into a city at all the way things are going. So the car is getting on for valueless. Why buy a new car when irrational and unpredictable changes to legislation can do that any time?

    Government, and that includes Sadiq Khan, need to provide consistency and stop tinkering.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      BMW have announced the 2020 7 series is to be hydrogen

  75. gregory martin
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    The Government has just confirmed 140 plus miles of heavy duty electrified steel rails
    upon which countless thousands of crocodile clips may be used to draw down sufficient current to power the Evs. Thus ensuring localised travel for all who choose.
    A new QUANGO needs to undertake the untangling of powercords on a nightly basis to ready the scheme for the next working day. This will be able to employ all’ the- shortly- to- arrive- as -unemployed’ .
    This is surely no less sane than the current proposal

  76. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised Sir John that no one has mentioned waiting just a little longer for hydrogen power for the motor car, trucks and buses. At least two global oil companies are involved with vehicle manufacturers with hydrogen power producing water droplets only from the exhaust and covering c.1000 miles on a low cost charge.
    Our one car family have supported one Japanese manufacturer for the past 20plus years with a new car every 3 years or so. The model we have is no longer available other than hybrid which is only a stop gap product at best. Therefore we plan to wait and see like many today it seems as the option for electric is a non starter for us given battery powers true credentials.

    • Rhoddas
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


  77. Ian
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Well said everybody
    We have more common sence than this Government, a lot less interference please your track record is appalling.
    If this was some other Country, it would be a joke.
    We will choose just what we want, no more dictation , just get out of the way

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink


  78. Original Richard
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    The government proposes to ban the sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2035.

    According to Michael Kelly, Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge, fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, replacing the UK vehicle fleet with EVs will require between half to twice the world’s annual production of cobalt, lithium carbonate, neodymium and copper, all elements and chemicals currently essential for the production of EVs.

    And this is before even considering the costs of producing and distributing the vast increase of electricity which will be required.

    [Google “Electrifying the UK and the Want of Engineering”].

    It’s not going to happen.

    So for a government to legislate for something which is technically or financially impossible is highly irresponsible.

    Not only because of the wasted energy and money lost in the wild goose chase it will have triggered but also because it will have halted further research and development into making petrol and diesel engines more efficient and less polluting.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink


  79. John Waugh
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    An inconvenient truth–
    What to do with end-of-life lithium-ion batteries?
    A mountain of lithium-ion battery waste .
    Recycling rates in Europe ,theUS and Australia are less than 5% .
    The reason? – It is not easy to recycle them . Process costs the earth in cash and energy consumed to do it .
    The race to find a solution is under way.
    When the battery reaches the end of the road for car use they can be re-purposed for other applications for example -home energy storage system . This problem exists but you do not see it being mentioned . kept quiet??

  80. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    You have missed out non plug in hybrids from your figures. Toyota have sold 8 million hybrids around the world.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink


      Unfortunately the Government are treating hybrids the same as petrol or diesel in the cut off date for banning the sale of such vehicles in their regulations, instead of doing the sensible thing and setting a different date, so we move on with technology in a rather more sensible and progressive manner.

  81. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I am very concerned about the environment. So I can’t even contemplate buying an electric car.

    And, because the most environmentally friendly thing you can do – in terms of car ownership- is to run a car for as long as possible, I will not buy another car until my present car becomes uneconomic to run.

    When I do need another car, I won’t buy a new one. I’ll let some mug take the depreciation hit.

    So, sorry Mr. Redwood, but i won’t be coming to the rescue of the car industry.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      The government is pushing electric cars – even though they are very environmentally unfriendly, their range is limited, anyone in a flat or a house with no off road parking cannot charge them, there is not enough generating capacity and kids are forced to work in mines to get the materials for the short lived battery.

      The government allows 300,000 people a year to come here when most people don’t want that to happen.

      They are spending money like a drunken sailor on HS2 when most people don’t want it.

      They are forcing a massive house building program that no one wants.

      Are they nuts? Mind you, in 4 years you’ll vote them in again. Anything’s better than Labour, right?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        There were candidates ready to stand and voters ready to vote for NF/BP at last election.
        But as we know plug was pulled. NF did a Grand Old Duke of York.
        Corbyn was sooo usefully unelectable and NF soooo willing to stand down his men.
        All very odd. And lo…along comes Starmer!
        Could someone rustle up a new party…or a breakaway party in the next 4 years? One that doesn’t bottle it.
        Or as I often wonder…will there be another election..ever?


      • NickC
        Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Mike W, All your points about the toxicity of battery cars, the fact that the UK cannot keep taking in 715,000 (2019 figure) foreigners a year, the uselessness of HS2, and the unwanted house avalanche, are all true. But every one is supported by the Green party, as well as the Tories, the LDs and Labour. And every one is opposed by the Brexit party. Now who do you think we’re going to vote for?

  82. Everhopeful
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Why is govt. worried about car emissions but not firework pollution?
    Just been treated to a VERY LOUD volley of high explosives.
    Huge petition last November but govt. thinks it knows best as ever.
    Nanny state allowing the possession of chemicals that go bang when lit and give off noxious fumes etc. Does Greta approve?
    Where is the quality of life and safety we all need?

    Govt. sits with fingers in ears going “Lalalala”.

  83. Iain Gill
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    On cars… Well you know before Covid I wanted to replace my last car with a new one pretty much exactly the same (a diesel). Well due to the government anti diesel actions the car maker had stopped selling the diesel model in the UK so I had to buy a petrol equivalent. Funnily enough according to the governments own stats the diesel one is far less polluting than the petrol one, yet here their action has forced me into the more polluting one. Electric cars no chance as I need to be able to jump in a car in London and drive to Glasgow if need be. Hybrids are too expensive. So all the social manipulation by politicians has a lot to answer for. Lots of the regulatory measures are having counter productive outcomes, eg forcing emissions at the tail pipe down often forces more unreliability into the car which ends up as more time in the workshop which is far from “green”.

    • ukretired123
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      This is so true but the EU legislation has caused this nonsense. Diesel Particle Filters aka DPF are a case in point whereby you have to “Drive like an Italian” I was told by an engineer – use 3rd year over 3500 to 4500 revs for 10 minutes to clear it and its warning light to go out! And don’t engage 6th year except on a motorway!
      Strewth! choice words on an Aussie website encapsulated this nonsense like standing on your head to prove it….

  84. Ian@Barkham
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Exactly, Government gets to control the actions and minds therfore the will of people of this once free nation. There was once a TV program illustrating this with Patrick McGoohan – The Prisoner

  85. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 6, 2020 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Many businesses and individuals have debt and cash flow problems after months of lockdown. They are bound to cut down on major capital items such as cars.

    If you want to get more electric cars sold, designate areas of free parking in London and other cities for use by electric cars only (this will need to be policed). The market will do the rest, especially as the safe occupancy rate for public transport carriages cannot be more than about 30%.

    Government should play fair by owners of petrol and diesel cars. An announcement that only electric and plug in hybrid cars may be sold after 2030 is sufficient. It would give adequate notice and ensure that the economic life of petrol and diesel cars was not artificially shortened.

    Revolutionary measures carried out at an evolutionary pace is what is needed. It often is.

  86. Stred
    Posted September 6, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I had to buy a short car in order to park near my home after the council halved the number of spaces and sold more permits than available parkstanceing. I keep my big estate outside the permit zone and change cars for long journeys.
    My mini has a Toyota 998cc petrol engine and was regularly doing 52.1 mpg on the same trip up the motorway on a 67 mile trip. The best milage is on the computer display and was 54.4mpg. Since lockdown WA ended the economy has gone down to 47.1 mpg, roughly a 10% decrease. I have checked the car for faults and the consumption by distance and litres used. There is apparently no reason for the drop in efficiency than a change in fuel content of ethanol.

    In the EU they already have changed from E5 to E10 petrol with 5% and 10% ethanol respectively. We were due to change to E10 next year. Autocar tested small petrol engined cars and found a drop of 10% in mileage/gallon. In other words the government has decided to save CO2 by putting 10% ethanol, mainly produced from corn and creating CO2 in the process, into the engine and requiring 10% more fuel to go the same distance. Apart from creating 10% more tax, what is the point of this EU policy?
    It would be interesting to see whether the owners of other small cars with one litre engines have also noticed a reduction in fuel efficiency.

    • Stred
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Sorry. The smart has been creating new words when the text is out of sight.

  87. Ian
    Posted September 6, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    The Betrayal continues .
    As for Bo Jo , continues his (we will leave without a deal ?
    Who is he talking to , surely no one hear believes a word he says any more.
    As for the EU, well let’s face it , they know he is a paid up member of the Remainers ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 6, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink


  88. Thames Trader
    Posted September 7, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    In the last year I’ve replaced both cars in the household and have no intention of buying another for at least five years. The smaller car is electric with a small petrol engine for when the battery runs low on juice. By buying now I’ve avoided cars with a government mandated speed limiter.

    The electric car is ideal for local journeys and can more than 120 miles on a full charge. I bought it because a very large discount made it reasonable value. Charging is only done at home in my garage which works well. If I have a long journey I use the petrol car but in an emergency I could use the electric car with the petrol engine taking over when needed. This is a great system and the government has made a big error by effectively outlawing this sort of car in the long term.

    For my long distance car electric power is too expensive and not practical so it’s petrol only. Regrettably this car isn’t British built – there aren’t any decent powerful cars of this type made in Britain and sold on the UK market.

  89. Pauline Jorgensen
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Pure electric cars are not practical for a main car for us, the range is too short and the charging too slow. Once it gets to 500 mile range and 10 minute charge I might buy one meantime it’s a diesel with adblue or petrol for us. Maybe hydrogen fuel cells will be the answer to the range and charge problem, can’t help but think electric will be a passing phase.

  • 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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