Making cars green means closing engine plants

The decision of most governments and the world Climate Change conferences to go for electric cars unleashes a juggernaut of change on a shaken motor industry. Sales of new diesels and even of petrol engined vehicles have plunged. Potential customers have often decided to hold on to the vehicles they already have, to see what is going to happen to car fuel taxation, to subsidies for new electric vehicles, and to taxes and regulations on the use of diesels and petrol cars before committing to a new product. The wary who might like a new diesel or petrol  vehicle worry lest in a few years time they are blocked from going where they wish, given the way German cities for example are already blocking older vehicles from entry. What will happen to second hand values when we reach the point of a ban on the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars? Some fear a fall, others think they might paradoxically go up as people chose to buy a second hand one in the absence of a new one.

It is true that lockdown last year hit output and sales badly, but it would be wrong to think all the fall in  diesel sales was temporary. There was a  trend developing against new diesels before the pandemic hit, which will continue given policy as lockdown ends. The car industry has accepted, even welcomed the transition to electric.  It will be costly, disruptive and difficult for those involved. The industry has preferred to talk about other far lesser issues or more temporary concerns and ignore the structural imperatives that should preoccupy it.

The UK government needs to be engaged and concerned about the UK car industry. The UK with some government encouragement and help built itself a great position in diesel engine technology and output. Ford changed Dagenham from car assembly to an engine production plant. BMW put in a great automated engine plant at Hams Hall Birmingham. Jaguar Land Rover spent a lot of money with government help on a brand new engine facility at Wolverhampton. Toyota put in an important engine factory on Deeside.  The UK helped design and perfect the new clean diesels with practically no particulate material coming out of the exhaust. All these plants make engines which the government wishes to retire by 2030 at the latest, with encouragement to people not to buy such engines from well before that date.  These factories cannot make the big batteries that form the core of the electric vehicle power unit, nor can they turn out the electric motors without stripping out all existing equipment and starting again.

If the UK is to keep motor manufacturing at home it needs to support and encourage large scale battery production and new factories for new electric models. The problem both the government and the industry have is they need to put in all this electric capacity before there are enough customers to buy the vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover shows the problem. Their buyers still want to buy the petrol and diesel product. As they transition to an all electric line up they have decided to go  more up market, losing the better off and concentrating on the rich who can afford to pay many tens of thousands for a single car . This will probably mean much less volume. If they end up closing or greatly shrinking  the Wolverhampton engine works and Castle Bromwich assembly works, favouring more overseas production, they will also lose more traditional UK buyers of their product who like the Britishness of the brand.

182 Comments

  1. Mark B
    February 17, 2021

    Good morning

    The government is not in charge. It is captured by various pressure groups, organisations and treaties / agreements. We even signed up to remain lockstep in the EU’s environmental policies.

    We are also seeing this from the point of view of the West and not of that of the developing world and countries such as China. China will not be banning the internal combustion engine anytime soon. But they will be happy to sell is all those rare earth minerals that they now control providing we stay nice to them.

    The reason none of this has been thought out is because at the low level our government is playing they too do not know what is going on. Hence the lack of planning and in depth strategy.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      February 17, 2021

      There should be masses of charging points being put in now. Does anyone see this happening ?

      1. NickC
        February 17, 2021

        “Masses of charging points” – true. But when are the power stations and the extra Grid capacity to be built for all that extra electrical energy supplied by the charging points?

    2. rose
      February 17, 2021

      You are quite right to point out we would be dependent on the Chinese for rare metals and minerals. Even if we get them elsewhere, we would be devastating another country’s landscape in the open cast mining process.

      This whole electric revolution was so seductive until the practicalities of it emerged. For example, the solar panels and wind turbines which America is now being let down by, with people literally dying in the cold – and Germany too has been caught out – are for the most part going to be made by coal powered China, though Germany makes coal powered ones too.

      As Sir John says, we have just got the diesel engines clean and quiet. No-one could be more sensitive to pollution than I, but I have noticed a big change for the better, so that for many people who now have nice little cars which don’t throw out pollution, there is no need to get a new electric one. Yet they will be charged more for parking outside their houses.

      Has anyone done one of those much beloved by the left impact assessments of what it would cost us environmentally to scrap these clean little diesel and petrol fuelled cars, to go over to new electric cars with their hidden environmental costs?

      1. NickC
        February 17, 2021

        Rose, That is all well said. The biggest problem is that the politicians have picked the means instead of legislating for the outcome. It is a fundamental error of people with no technical expertise.

    3. Stred
      February 17, 2021

      The westcountry fishermen on the recent TV programme were making a good living when they found that they could sell to the Chinese. This suddenly stopped when they found that the selfish and fish from Cornish waters apparently produced produce that did not comply with the strict Chinese purity regulations, their own fish being fed on the pure waters of the China sea and fish farms. This coincided with the rejection of the Chinese telecoms equipment for 5G.
      They have cornered the world supply for materials to make car batteries and have already put other solar panel manufacturers out of business. Johnson’s government is going to trash UK car manufacturing and hand it to the CCP.
      And by the way, the supposed problem with NO2 pollution was used by Green pressure groups to put diesel vehicles out of the picture because they were as efficient as hybrids and produced the same amount of CO2. NO2 was calculated to reduce lifespan by a few months at most and then multiplied by the whole population to produce a notional figure of thousands of actual deaths. They are still lying about this. NO2 can be eliminated altogether using ad blue if they insisted but now that they have captured ministers and most MPs, they will be able to make motoring very difficult and they are having their way.

    4. Lifelogic
      February 17, 2021

      Indeed and electric cars are not green they are “emissions elsewhere” vehicles often/usually more emissions than older conventional vehicles. Shapps simply does not have a clue.

      Where is all the green electricity coming from and all the energy to build the cars and short lived, v expensive and small range batteries?

      1. Lifelogic
        February 17, 2021

        Looking at secondhand car adverts for electric cars they only seems to be doing about 4,000 miles PA typically. But we know that after energy used in manufacture of the care they might need to do circa 60,000 to 100,000 before they save any CO2 at all. By which time they are likely to have needed an second battery manufactured too.

        So as they save no CO2 relative to running a conventional car why are they subsidised? Can Shapps or anyone else explain this lunacy? Yes they take some pollution out of the city but a plugin hybrid that can do 30 miles say on battery does that rather better in most cases.

        1. Una-Jane Winfield
          February 17, 2021

          “So as they save no CO2 relative to running a conventional car why are they subsidised?” The answer is: the UK (and other western) Governments want a network of batteries plugged into the Grid overnight, and possibly most of the day too. This is the mechanism for “ironing out” the huge swings in output from wind- and solar electricity production which would otherwise make renewable electricity incapable of replacing electricity from gas turbine stations. So buyers of electric vehicles (all 3% of cars sold last year!) are actually supplying – for free – an electricity supply and demand balancing network. That is why the Government is so keen on promoting electric vehicles.
          BTW I will be keeping my four year-old diesel Renault Scenic just as long as I possibly can, and certainly longer than just another nine years.

    5. Hope
      February 17, 2021

      Car industry is but one of a number of industries the Fake Tory Govt has deliberately destroyed and is destroying. We saw it with fishing, steel manufacture, coal production, nuclear energy, retail in high streets. The list is truly endless.

      What sane person would announce destroying the car industry during the worst recession for three hundred which was deliberately caused by the Fake Tory govt. Meanwhile unemployment soaring, businesses going bust by the hundreds of thousand, highest taxation in 70 years brought about by a truly socialist Govt.

      We cannot afford this govt any longer: socially, economically, democratically. Johnson is destroying our way of life. Charles Walker appears to be the only one in his party to speak out.

  2. Everhopeful
    February 17, 2021

    Amid the lunacy, it seems to me that industrial change should be organic. So, if viable and desirable, an electric car industry should grow up beside the petrol/diesel industry. May the best man win. ( oh dear but that’s capitalism..not fascism!).
    I believe that way back, that was the case with transport…even steam had a place for a while. No doubt the madness and corruption of politicians led us to put all our eggs in the strings-attached petrol basket.
    What Boris Johnson is up to is “creative chaos”… I doubt very, very much if he actually believes in any of it. Just expects to escape at the last minute leaving the rest of us under the rubble.
    Why are you letting him get away with all this? I thought in one article you said he would protect us from the EU and globalism?
    Meanwhile, his lies regarding lockup become more and more bizarre. Laughable if they weren’t so scary because of the power you allow him to wield.

    1. Everhopeful
      February 17, 2021

      “You” = any vaguely sane MP.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 17, 2021

        I think there are 50-100 tops sensible MPs.

    2. Ed M
      February 17, 2021

      There’s no point complaining about something way out of your control.

      But you do have the power to write to your MP who has the influence to help turn UK into a world leader in Tech whether Green Tech or not not Green Tech, whether Car, Smartphone, Software, Server, Services … and the HUGE potential in increased wages, skills, productivity, exports etc..

      You’re focusing on the smaller picture which you have no realistic sway over but missing the bigger picture which you do have more realistic sway over. 95% of People in Tech – Green or otherwise – would 100% agree with me.

      1. Everhopeful
        February 17, 2021

        100%.
        Yes I do write to my Tory MP.
        No reply ever..except recently a sort of survey to ask if I would vote for him!!!!

        1. Ed M
          February 17, 2021

          @Everhopeful,

          Often writing isn’t enough. MPs getting hundreds of the same kinds of letters saying the same kinds of things. Do something different. Put together an interesting, colourful, pithy presentation with a creation vision supported with facts where possible about where and what you’d like to see the UK develop into.

        2. Lifelogic
          February 17, 2021

          I wrote to Hancock, Zahawi and some members of JCVI weeks ago to point out the hundreds of extra deaths they are causing by failure to adjust vaccination for real gender risk. No reply from any of them.

          Years ago I wrote to the dire Ted Heath about something particularly stupid he had said (even by his standards). He did kindly give me a long and considered reply (totally wrong of course) but much appreciated.

          1. Ed M
            February 18, 2021

            @Lifelogic,

            OK, you have. I stand, corrected, sir!

      2. NickC
        February 17, 2021

        Ed M, Where do you get those figures “95% of People in Tech . . . would 100% agree”? Sounds like complete waffle to me. Moreover politicians cannot “help turn UK into a world leader in Tech”, because most politicians are ignorant of “Tech”, going by MPs qualifications. Politicians should legislate for outcomes – gradually less pollution, better air quality, etc – rather than specify the technologies.

        1. Ed M
          February 18, 2021

          @Nick,

          ‘Those figures’ are metaphorical not literal. All, I’m saying is that people in Tech would strongly agree with me. At least, people in Tech involved with innovative technology – not those interested in guarding their legacy technology. And I talk from the position of someone who worked in Tech for years.

          You’re response is too hasty and black and white. I wouldn’t in a million years suggest politicians should specify technologies (although some politicians seem to be specifying against certain new types of technology) but work as FACILITATORS with people in Tech, like the US gov did to help establish California as Silicon Valley as the Israeli gov did to help Tel Aviv become a leading Tech hub, as Irish government helped the young to get into Tech.

          Brexiters rightly talk about exporting to the Far East – but what? One of the key things we should be planning to export to the Far East is High Tech British Brands (including Tech Services) but at the moment, it is precisely the Far East that is steam-rolling ahead in terms of Tech Innovation, well-supported by their governments from one degree to another, leaving us in the UK and in other parts of the West, far behind.

        2. Ed M
          February 18, 2021

          Also, Nick, I am no expert on the Financial City of London (but am in Tech – well a bit, relatively so). Didn’t politicians help London to turn into a central financial centre back in the 60’s / 70’s / 80’s even though politicians aren’t necessarily financial experts either? Maybe, more politicians with knowledge of Finance than Tech, but same principle applies (and you don’t need that much knowledge / experience of Tech to be a facilitator to the industry – but you do need to talk with with people in Tech).

          And please may the Tory Party recruit more people from Tech into its ranks so that it has more knowledge about the Tech industry.

          Regards, Ed, London

    3. Peter Wood
      February 17, 2021

      Everhopeful, I think you mean ‘Darwinian’ rather than capitalism. Government’s think they can manage change, redirect it, speed it up or slow it down. They even think they can modify the climate! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t noticed any deities in our government recently, despite their proclamations.

      The reality is of course they just like to think they can con us into believing they know what to do, and all they do is make change more expensive and inefficient. I give you the EU as the prime example of this…

    4. Hope
      February 17, 2021

      Please Everhopeful. Ships are not going electric any time soon nor trains. Bother aircraft carriers are diesel and will be for their fifty year Govt. contracts.

      Mass immigration has caused huge increase in energy alone and against All the green claims Johnson and princess nut nut make. Perhaps a free electric car as well as a free hotel accommodation no matter where they come from or which country they pass through!

      Fake Tories following an uncosted and unproven green path to economic destruction. Johnson effectively saying follow me off the cliff you will live forever!

      1. Everhopeful
        February 17, 2021

        Good! Glad about ships etc.
        Fake tories. Fake everything.
        I am sooooo weary of it all.

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        February 17, 2021

        He is also going to go down as the Prime Minister who abolished fun, if today’s news on the “1000 infection rate” is true.

        Life is grim for people, the vast vast majority of whom are not going to die or get seriously ill from CV-19.

        We are at a turning point whereby lockdown kills more people than CV-19 and it is going to start to show. I have seen old people on my check-up list wither and die. Young people are missing key parts of growing up and important rights of passage which will cause a long term mental health crisis.

      3. hefner
        February 17, 2021

        Since 2006, ten of the more recent US aircraft carriers (out of 11) are nuclear-powered Nimitz class carriers. Welcome to the 21st c, Hope.

        1. Hope
          February 17, 2021

          Hef, …And your point being…

          The option of nuclear powered ships was avaîlable when the aircraft carriers were first considered, way before 2006. The govt decided diesel even though they would require a larger fleet of support from diesel powered auxiliary ships. A nuclear powered submarine will always be on partrol with it. Which makes the govt decision even more bizarre. Go figure.

          1. hefner
            February 18, 2021

            Oops, sorry, I had forgotten that the UK also have (pedal-powered?) aircraft carriers, HMS QE and PoW. Shame on me.

        2. forthurst
          February 17, 2021

          In the 21st c, aircraft carriers are vulnerable to Mach 8 missiles. Sailing aggressively through the Straits of Hormuz or in the South China Sea is not going to change reality.

    5. DennisA
      February 17, 2021

      Exactly right. “If the UK is to keep motor manufacturing at home it needs to”…. reverse course and abandon the nonsense and allow market forces to prevail. If there were a demand for EV’s…. but there isn’t. This is top down control of our lives by politicians who will never be accountable for the misery and destruction they cause.

      1. glen cullen
        February 17, 2021

        Spot On – and motor manufacturers will always follow the government grants and support funding – profit is no longer on the sale of a car its calculated on how much the subsidy is (see our railway system)

        1. turboterrier
          February 17, 2021

          Glen Cullen.
          The precedence for this was laid down years ago with the outrageous subsidies paid out to install renewable energy power units.
          In Scotland today you have wind farms applying to extend their sites even though a lot of these sites were major recipients of the £235m paid out for not working in 2020. They are not being extended to provide more power but to provide more in constraint payments for their foreign owners. Still politicians believe in all this crap. 500 odd politicians need to start to smell the coffee they are having the urine extracted from them. All being repeated in other sectors too. Total utter madness.

    6. Lifelogic
      February 17, 2021

      Over 95% of MPs voted for Miliband’s insane climate change act. So deluded and lacking in logic and science are most of these dire Net Zero lunacy MPs.

      So the vaccine is now beginning to lower deaths in the over 70s it seems. Could have been nearly 20% better protection had the JCVI order been adjusted for gender risks! So hundreds of extra deaths for no good reason and blatant anti-male discrimination. May they rest in peace thanks to very poor decisions by JCVI, Hancock and Zahawi. A lack of even basic logic for PC reason one assumes.

    7. Hope
      February 17, 2021

      +100

  3. formula57
    February 17, 2021

    “All these plants make engines which the government wishes to retire by 2030 at the latest,…” – but surely the Government is not being serious? Was this not said just to appease Joe Biden and get some relief from the mad Thunberg types for now?

    As Bill Gates said recently, ‘Carbon neutrality in a decade is a fairytale. Why peddle fantasies?’.

    1. oldtimer
      February 17, 2021

      Jaguar Land Rover knows they are serious. Just look at the bans, regulations and taxes imposed on petrol and diesel engines. Earlier this week the CEO of JLR announced it would stop making diesel engines in 2026, even though it’s latest in line six offers outstanding economy and efficiency. The company has now bet it’s future on second generation battery technology (yet to be demonstrated) and on hydrogen fuel cell technology (with luck a first prototype might be on the roads later this year). Do not be surprised if in ten years time JLR has become no more than a memory and it’s brand names sold off to another foreign buyer. Blame Johnson and the rest of the political class for the destruction of what is left of the industry and the many jobs that depend on it.

      1. hefner
        February 17, 2021

        Hyundai ix35 FCEV (on the road in S.Korea in 2013) and Toyota Mirai (since 2014 in Japan) use hydrogen fuel cell technology and are a bitty more than prototypes.
        Second-generation battery technology? Are you talking about StoreDot? or about the one presented by U.Glasgow in 2018? or the one developed by Samsung in 2019? And being presently developed for ‘mass production’?

        As you say, in ten years JLR might have become no more than a memory but will it really be because of Johnson or of the UK ‘entrepreneurs’ a bitty slow at investing in start-ups?

        And just for you: ‘The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones’ J.Maynard Keynes.

        Welcome to the 21st c.

        1. turboterrier
          February 17, 2021

          Hefner

          +1……What would be the true cost if JLR went down upon the country or the rest of the British automotive production industry?

        2. Una-Jane Winfield
          February 17, 2021

          Sorry. Where are all the hydrogen pumps? And will they really be safe (Hindenburg)?
          I have seen many methane or petroleum gas pumps in Germany and in Armenia (Russian gas supply) and you have to be quite careful when filling up because of the pressure and the much greater flammability. Hydrogen is much, much more difficult to handle and store. I just think that we will be forced to drive an economy version of a Tesla and our journeys can be no longer than approx 300 miles.

        3. oldtimer
          February 18, 2021

          JLR is evaluating solid state battery technology developed by Ilika. Ilika is party to at least three Faraday projects, Honda and Maclaren are the other two manufacturers involved in different aspects of the potential application of their design. No results have been published yet. And yes, Johnson and the rest of the political class are responsible through their calculated application of laws, regulations and taxes to suppress demand for the ice.

    2. Mike Durrans
      February 17, 2021

      Agreed +1
      I wiil not even go to auto gearbox. As for electric cars- they are more expensive and dont last long. One needs to get rid of it at the moat three years old as the battery is starting to loose efficiency and an electric car With a duff battery in worthless. How many miles , 50k! that makes very expensive travel. My diesel doing 50miles to the gallon and tows a heavy farm trailer, No electric car will do that job.
      The greens are brain dead city slickers ,

    3. ian@Barkham
      February 17, 2021

      @Formular57, Its about the ‘WOKE’ message – follow through and dealing with the fall out is for another day

    4. Fishknife
      February 17, 2021

      Honestly what are the chances of inventing a cheap, lightweight, non degrading, fast charging battery?
      Car electrification feels like a Unicorn and the “Charge of the Light Brigade”
      Power/Politics is driven by money/Vested Interest – what’s best for the ‘hoi polloi’ ranks far down the list, until they are driven to revolt.
      Do I think we should aim for sustainability, Yes. To the extent of self mortification, no; even if the world’s worse polluters climb on the band-waggon, and there is no sign of that.
      Given the probability that we may well end up with a heavy, expensive, fast charging battery – only suitable for the rich & urban areas
      should we not take advantage of Brexit and develop a Plan B – adapting the ICE to run fossil fuel free? or at least as “environment friendly” as electric cars?

      1. Una-Jane Winfield
        February 17, 2021

        Brazil’s cars use a petrol/alcohol mix which can apparently be as high as 95% alcohol. That alcohol comes from corn (US) or sugar cane residue (Brazil). The engine has to be specially adapted, of course.

      2. Mockbeggar
        February 18, 2021

        Try supercapacitors. Look it up on either Bristol or Surrey University websites.

    5. Lifelogic
      February 17, 2021

      As Bill Gates said recently, ‘Carbon neutrality in a decade is a fairytale. Why peddle fantasies?’.

      Indeed and it is not remotely needed either. Texas covered in snow, -30?, solar panels covered in snow too and wind farms frozen solid. Good plan!

  4. DOM
    February 17, 2021

    Authoritarian minded, western politicians (no doubt following the Chinese model of brutal imposition and criminal contempt for freedom in all areas of life) imposing revolutionary changes upon the private sector and indeed our lives without any concern nor consideration given to the cost, damage or upset it causes.

    The gilded, protected political State and all of its retinue enjoying ZERO change to their remunerations while the plebeians outside the closed gates are expected to adapt to such inconvenient and costly changes without a whimper

    This is happening in the UK for one simple reason. The voter continues to vote Labour and Tory and by doing so simply endorses the growing power of an unaccountable socialist State. These two bastardised parties have ripped the heart of this nation and they’ve done it through a subtle partnership of cooperation to maintain and protect the two party status quo

    Both main parties are direct beneficiaries of Labour’s construction of an unreformed, unimpeachable, out of control, all powerful and all spending client state

    Mr Redwood’s crocodile tears are just that and maybe his conversion to State socialism is a sign of the times and indicative of just how far the Tory party has fallen under the spell of this most pernicious and seductive politics

    1. Ed M
      February 17, 2021

      The reality is that the Tories EASILY have the best chance of keeping Labour out of power. No other party can.

      And I’m wary of people who over-idealise politics from left or right (or Social Liberal – yuck).

      Politicians only have so much power (unless they turn into megalomaniac dictators ruining Europe as they did in 20th century). The West is in trouble as it has rejected traditional Greco-Roman / Judaeo-Christian values of Family, Work Ethic and Patriotism / Public Duty. And that war can only be ultimately won in Education / The Media / The Arts / Religion – not politics (important as that is). I think.

    2. Everhopeful
      February 17, 2021

      We are paying for our sheep-like idiocy which has played out over the last 300 odd years.

      1. hefner
        February 20, 2021

        Last 300 odd years? Do you mean the 1707 Act of Union? You might want to be a bit more explicit.

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      February 17, 2021

      Businesses boarded up that seemed unthinkable a year ago. A life a year ago that seems unthinkable now. And still unthinkable as impossible targets of infection are demanded by a small cohort of experts to release us from lockdown. And vaccine passports to drink in a pub or get a job ? (how is this fair on the young who are last in the queue and have sacrificed the most already ?) Unthinkable state control – as well as cashlessness so that one’s ability to spend can be ‘cancelled’. Friday’s brief will reveal lots.

    4. The other Christine
      February 17, 2021

      Couldn’t agree with you more, DOM. Our democratically elected rulers have no idea of what life is like for us plebs. They live out their lives unhindered and unaffected by the policies they inflict on us. How I wish I could have 30 minutes in a room with Boris Johnson (minus civil servants squatting in corners as I know they do from previous meetings with ministers). I could tell him what life is like for the vast majority of us and would like to hear from him why he is following the Build Better agenda, the Zero Carbon nonsense and the even more frightening introduction of vaccine passports.

    5. a-tracy
      February 17, 2021

      Dom, you’ve only got to look across to America to see what voting against the two main parties gets you! Or indeed what happens to people like Cummings, Farage the bullying, social pariah status of the individual becomes intense and too harsh on their families, that’s why people like Boris and Gove fall into line. Then there is the media circus, the alarm created in the general population! No one wants it, Dom, I can’t watch tv news programs anymore. John Redwood walks a fine line.

  5. Ian Wragg
    February 17, 2021

    Battery driven vehicles will be a footnote in history.
    Hydrogen will be perfected which will give the range and flexibility of the ICE.
    Picking winners by government will be a costly mistake.
    Evolution is the key. Stop this green nonsense now.

    1. Ed M
      February 17, 2021

      ‘Stop this green now’ is like blowing out air to try and stop a jugganot heading you way

      When instead you should save your breath for getting the government to really help High Tech industry in general. Just takes a little push down the hill and that Jumbo Jet of High Tech (Green but mainly non-green Tech could have HUGE benefits to our economy – really helping it to take off .. . That push is not nearly happening enough.

      1. glen cullen
        February 17, 2021

        …….and they’re just taking the fun out of living

        1. Ed M
          February 17, 2021

          @Glen,

          There’s plenty of scope for fun outside politics!

          Plus, no-one should control your ability to have fun. You are in control!

          1. glen cullen
            February 18, 2021

            I meant the fun of a sunday drive with the family in the car or the enjoyment of driving my 1980s 2 stroke motorike – just for fun

        2. Ed M
          February 17, 2021

          Also, why are so many Brexiters NOT over-joyed about being out of the EU. The joy is so short-lived. Sad.

          I voted Remain for practical reasons (ideally, I’m a strong Brexiter – supporter of Sovereignty) because I didn’t think we were prepared, didn’t have a leader, and didn’t have a strong, creative, cheerful vision about what we wanted.

          But the country voted to leave. And so leave we must. And part of making the most of Brexit / and doing best to make it succeed is just being happy about it. But I don’t find the post Brexit joy comes close to match the hype of the pre Brexit joy of leaving the EU. Sad. Really. Great opportunity, and people just don’t seem that bothered now we’re out of the EU (except to continue to say how awful the EU is …).

          Let’s have more JOY. More creative, positive vision about being out of the EU. And that’s the best way to make it succeed.

    2. Alan Jutson
      February 17, 2021

      Ian

      I do believe you may be correct, Toyota are releasing a production hydrogen car, the Mira, later this year, the problem, not really any filling stations (about a dozen in the UK ) at the moment to make a purchase sensible. but with a range of 400 miles and a fill up time of 5 mins, and with no emissions other than water droplets from the car, it seems a far more logical development.
      At least the present filling stations could easily be converted, as you do not need additional land for static cars standing around parked up taking hours to charge up.
      Given Toyota were one of the first to develop full production battery powered cars, is this a clue for the future ?

    3. jerry
      February 17, 2021

      @Ian Wragg; “Hydrogen will be perfected which will give the range and flexibility of the ICE”

      The problem with Hydrogen fuelled vehicles is how the Hydrogen is created, and then distributed when being used as a replacement fuel for use in IC engines (being more hazardous than either Petrol or LPG), and the fact that it is at least two to three times less efficient – either used as a direct replacement for petrol or in competition with batter EV systems. So whilst 1H might allow flexibility, it does not offer any advantage with regards efficiency. No doubt both Hydrogen gas production, and the Hydrogen fuel cell, will be further perfected but so will their alternatives.

    4. No Longer Anonymous
      February 17, 2021

      I believe it’s about going back to a Downton Abbey society.

      Only the rich are meant to have cars and travel by air.

    5. MWB
      February 17, 2021

      +1

    6. ian@Barkham
      February 17, 2021

      @Ian Wragg, so true and demonstrates a Government whos only message is to appeal to the ‘WOKE’ community at the expense of the mainstream. It is not about increasing the wealth and health of the nation

    7. acorn
      February 17, 2021

      Ian, are you proposing that we use Hydrogen in internal combustion engines! Which bit of the first two laws of thermodynamics do you not understand? Assuming that you get your hydrogen from a non-carbon source, you would get over twice the mileage from your vehicle, if it used the Hydrogen in a fuel cell electric drive, rather than an internal combustion engine drive system. Please advise your thinking.

      1. ian@Barkham
        February 17, 2021

        @acon, using Hydrogen in internal combustion engines, instead of scrapping them all and completely starting over will save an awful lot of carbon emissions that will come from manufacturing and shipping to market.

        1. acorn
          February 18, 2021

          Let me know when you have converted an internal combustion engine to run on hydrogen. If you haven’t modified it to have positive crankcase ventilation and exhaust gas recirculation to keep down the large amounts of NOx that it will generate; then, stay a long way from it when you start it up.

  6. Vita Brevis
    February 17, 2021

    A home runs on about 10 KWh a day but charging an EV may take 20 KWh. Not only will that triple electricity consumption (!) but owners will charge their cars overnight. What will happen to cheap off-peak power?

    1. miami.mode
      February 17, 2021

      VB, cheap off-peak power during the early hours will become premium rate peak power.

  7. secretaria
    February 17, 2021

    I do not blame the buying public for being hesitant in taking the giant leap that government feel they can take minus any clarity in their policy. The statement is there that we will do it, but little indication of how.

    What is the plan for the generation of electricity. How much more do we need to generate and by what means.

    Where is the plan for delivering that electricity, at what cost for home installation, at what cost for roadside installation.

    Do the motoring public accept the limited range of electric vehicles and the mid journey time it takes to recharge them. Think winter travel at night using lights and aircon while towing a caravan. What will that do to range and recharging delays. What steps are the AA and other rescue services taking to recharge dead vehicles at the roadside.

    In respect of buses, and potentially heavy goods vehicles, one UK company has opted for hydrogen as a fuel as the only byproduct is water. Hydrogen can be used to generate electricity to drive a vehicle or via direct burn in an ICE where again the only byproduct is water. Producing an ICE that ran on hydrogen would prove less disruptive to the motor industry. It would remove refueling delays and increase range at a stroke. You would still need to increase electricity generating capacity to produce the hydrogen presumably with an oxygen byproduct.

    Government had to bow to science and engineering to overcome Covid, having discovered that you could not legislate against a virus. Though they have tried hard by dictat since. Typically they have legislated for a battery factory in Coventry with no idea as to who is going to occupy the space to produce batteries. Will this be a battery version of a Nightingale hospital.

    It is long overdue that those with common sense or even some professional knowledge stood up in parliament and started asking pertinent questions and demanding government answers. I am minded to think that on this subject we are being led by leemings , and green pressure group leemings , all directed at taking us over a self generated cliff.

  8. Len Peel
    February 17, 2021

    Lots of foreign firms did invest in the UK to supply the EU. Not any more. I wonder why

  9. Everhopeful
    February 17, 2021

    Well. That’s it.
    The latest scam wriggles to keep the virus narrative stoked up.
    Daily “case” target and mass “testing”.
    What happened to “The vaccine will set ye free”?

  10. Sea_Warrior
    February 17, 2021

    A good article but, alas, it will be too late to save the livelihoods of many. To echo some of the thoughts above, the government is acting under duress and is unduly influenced by climate change extremists. One of them is Boris Johnson – a man who probably spent too little time with a Bunsen burner in an Eton science lab.
    I recently visited a Jaguar showroom and was quite appalled at the prices of their battery-powered vehicles. My guess is that the company is moving too quickly.
    O/T, a little, I hope that MPs, in committee, will take some time to look at what’s going on deep in the heart of (shivering) Texas. Perhaps it might serve as a warning to our extremists. Let’s crack on with SMR; we need a mix.

  11. Fedupsoutherner
    February 17, 2021

    Dom comments today are spot on. Quite simply we are being pushed down the route to utter hell and this is what they call democracy? It will cause nothing but heartache for all those that lose their jobs and achieve nothing. The climate won’t change and all those wealthy people that are pushing this crap will carry on with their lived as normal oblivious to the hardship created around them. I used to be an ardent Tory supporter but I cannot continue to support clowns.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 17, 2021

      My post above should read..will carry on with their lives

    2. Sea_Warrior
      February 17, 2021

      I ressigned last week. I remain a Conservative and hope that Johnson’s party will try Conservatism sometime.

  12. Sharon
    February 17, 2021

    As a retired couple who tow a caravan with a diesel 4x 4 car, would a car be powerful enough to tow our caravan and be remotely affordable? I find that doubtful.

    All those the ‘green’ issues surrounding cars would mean that many other caravaners would have to stop, which would have a knock on affect to holiday sites, small 5-caravan-only sites of which there are thousands across the UK; and caravan and motor home manufacturers.

    Electric vehicles is going to have a terrible impact in so many areas, it’ll be like a smaller version of the devastation caused after this last year of lockdowns.

    But hey, it’s very virtuous!

  13. MPC
    February 17, 2021

    There will be fewer cars in the future that’s the avid environmentalists’ aim. Your current and previous prime ministers do not care about the car industry. There will be no material extra charging capacity as there’s no intent to have the same number of electric cars as ICE powered ones. We are a warehouse economy with a government unrepresentative of the silent majority of UK people.

  14. Roy Grainger
    February 17, 2021

    Currently in Texas there is a cold spell that has frozen their windmills – 4 million people have been completely without power since Monday with their houses at near freezing temperatures and no respite expected any time soon. That is with only 25% of their power from windmills. That seems to be what our energy policy is too ?

    1. roger
      February 17, 2021

      Well below freezing actually as the temperatures are given in F not C.
      The 1 degree F is very cold indeed. Should hyperthermia deaths have been caused
      there may well be retribution exacted against the criminal politicians, thus sending a salutary lesson to
      the incompetent idiots in Westminster

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    February 17, 2021

    I am no fan of the green lobby and electric cars (hybrids may have a place in the future) but business must adapt to survive. For each engine plant that shuts more electric motor, battery or battery recycling plants should be needed as diesel and petrol engines reach end of life.

    I do not advocate pursuing electric only vehicle policies but if government does then fleet footed businesses have opportunity (which will be driven by taxpayer funded subsidies).

  16. Alan Jutson
    February 17, 2021

    Has the Government completed any research at all as to where all of these precious metals are going to be mined, and how much will be needed to sustain demand, a real change in the dynamics of World power is surely on the cards.
    I am all for less pollution of the planet, but we need to be careful about the speed at which we move, remember the fiasco and unreliability of the first condensing gas boilers, introduced far too early and before the technology was settled.
    Given the developed World has been in almost lockdown for the last year, what difference has that made to Climate change, any at all.?
    I foresee many unintended consequences coming to light in future years,
    Governments need to be careful they do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. on the alter of climate change.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      February 17, 2021

      Of course it hasn’t – but Beijing will have.

  17. Iain Gill
    February 17, 2021

    Car Battery production, and end of life disposal, have many pollution risks and challenges. I am not sure attracting this work is such a brilliant idea. Especially when we have forced the shutting of many far less polluting industrial processes with anti pollution measures, which resulted in them moving to India & China (and pushing up net world pollution). We need a much more sensible set of measures which take all of this into account.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 17, 2021

      Ian, it’s not just the production of car batteries that is bad for the environment. I was looking at the devastation caused by the production of solar panels and it’s shocking. How anyone can call this farce green is beyond me.

    2. Mockbeggar
      February 18, 2021

      And that’s just what will happen if the local council does a u-turn and refuses planning for coking coal mine in Cumbria. If we want to make steel we need coking coal. Let’s keep it local instead of transporting it halfway round the world.
      I’m thinking of resigning from the CPRE. Such muddle-headed science!

  18. Bryan Harris
    February 17, 2021

    All very logical but the CC religion doesn’t run on logic, only dogma – Those pushing for the end of even very clean fuelled cars don’t give a damn about the adverse effects of this, or the waste, or the lost jobs, or lost opportunities.

    They forget that even while chanting their mantra; ‘let it stay in the ground’ referring to oil – that components for electric cars have to be mined also.

    It was most disconcerting to hear that when Boris spoke with Merkel recently to calm some of the nonsense that resulted from the BREXIT deal, that he had time to listen to a pep talk on climate change, and how was he doing?

    You would imagine that with an economy shattered, even the most dogged advocate of green energy would reign in some of the more economically damaging policies, but no – they still take priority.
    So what is the actual agenda here?

  19. Alan Holmes
    February 17, 2021

    The agenda continues. Lock us all up to get us used to being prisoners. Make us buy expensive and useless electric cars to stop us going anywhere except work (if we have any). Health passports then microchips to bring in total control. What thought processes go through the minds of the politicians enabling this agenda? Do they really think that they will have a place in the Hunger Games world they’re creating? They will be disappointed.

  20. turboterrier
    February 17, 2021

    We all know the cause , are politicians of whatever colour appeared for the effect of the route they are hell bent on going?
    This could become that sword in the sand moment for millions of drivers that enough is enough and some common sense needs to be applied. All the concerns about raw earth material mining, disposal of turbine blades and solar panels all at present not being addressed is not going to go away and if the Civil Right and other humanitarian organisations, poverty, job losses, increased taxation and many other areas of our so called normal life (whatever that is) that will be affected decide for once to unite and start to work together then major problems are going to appear at ever increasing rates.
    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. The billions wasted on developing all these super efficient, clean internal combustion engines should not be just case aside. When looking at the effect on the planet can politicians just stop cherry picking the bits they are comfortable with and let’s have figures for the total impact incorporating , sourcing of material, total manufacturing process and distribution. This electric transport process as being proposed will only end in tears.

  21. The Prangwizard
    February 17, 2021

    Another disaster in the making. Policy driven by outside forces – the world government which the likes of ‘Boris’ driven on by his bedmate Carrie want to impose. With COP 26 coming up it will not be abandoned, indeed it will be strengthened.

    Sir John is spitting into the wind. Democracy abandoned for a world ideology. But no matter what his party does Sir John will remain loyal as he fears the loneliness of leaving the party. He is not the only one.

  22. Roger W Carradice
    February 17, 2021

    Sir John
    I have commented before that I have yet to meet anyone who wants an electric car. I pass the local electric car charging points and they are rarely in use. I thought Parliament was to represent the will of the people. I presume that is now an old fashioned idea.
    Roger

  23. Fedupsoutherner
    February 17, 2021

    The problem is government policy is being led by the media who are left wing trained students from our uni’s.

  24. David Cooper
    February 17, 2021

    As a fellow Jaguar driver, anticipating a possible final purchase of an internal combustion engine XF Sportbrake in 2029 in the thought that it might see me out – in Cuban fashion if necessary – I was dismayed to hear this week’s news about a switch across the board to glorified milk floats (aka “going all electric”) by 2025. How to lose friends and alienate people! Is there any hope of re-establishing the Conservative Party as a bastion of common sense opposed to such consequences of the utterly misguided Net Zero, or must we hope for a realignment on the centre-right for this purpose?

    1. Mockbeggar
      February 18, 2021

      I drive a 2004 Jaguar with a superb 6 cylinder engine. I do very little mileage (only around 100 miles this last 12 months but about 4-5000 normally) so I don’t use much petrol but still pay £330 road tax. I reckon that a replacement car would cause a great deal more pollution in manufacturing alone than keeping this old car going. Mind you, I’ve got to replace a front spring now – bl**dy potholes!

  25. Jim
    February 17, 2021

    I suspect the car makers are playing both ends of the game. Some governments and makers are gambling that range and charging problems will decay away over the next 10-15 years. There seems a fair chance that these improvements will take rather longer. This means the combustion engine will live a bit longer. Governments are notoriously fickle and will have to bend to reality. Manufacturers are likely to end up continuing to produce ‘hybrid’ vehicles, ones with petrol engines in. Maybe a different design of engine/generator combo but still petrol+electric, close old plants, buy in new units. Surplus people are a government problem not industry’s.

    The word hybrid can embrace the word ‘electric’ and can be spun to look ‘green’ etc etc but in reality hybrids get most of their energy from petrol/diesel (whatever is the flavour of the day). This will suit government because it sidesteps any massive need to upgrade electricity infrastructure etc but not so good for carbon so just spin the numbers. Further it suits manufacturers who can trade off electric versus different power units until such times as all electric becomes truly viable – if ever. Expect a lot more spin – not of the wheel kind.

  26. glen cullen
    February 17, 2021

    This government is looking for solutions to green problems that don’t exist

    The people, the common people, the voting people don’t wont electric cars

    Get someone at Tory HQ to do research survey on a large inner city housing estate and not the media sponsored research

    I’m shocked at how divorced the politicians are from the people

    BUILD BACK GREEN BETTER… pathetic

  27. a-tracy
    February 17, 2021

    Government could turbocharge this by only presenting battery cars for mobility cars.

    You need to encourage Kia to serve our market as they produce vehicles people can afford.

    Another problem with newer models is the way manufactures put limp mode on all new vehicles the slightest problem, a deflating tyre, or filter change and the whole vehicle shuts down on you ask the AA, RAC if you don’t believe me what they get called out to, often times on the motorway and now we have ‘smart’ motorways without hardshoulders this is dangerous.

    1. Alan Jutson
      February 17, 2021

      a-tracy

      I see from recent reports we now have some Police Commissioners wanting to end smart motorways after a couple of recent Coroners reports on road traffic deaths.
      Some common-sense thoughts at last, but will the Government listen ?

      No chance.

  28. JohnE
    February 17, 2021

    One factor to consider is that lithium battery costs have fallen by 88% over the last decade and continue to fall by 13% p.a adjusting for inflation. By 2025 EV’s will be cost competitive or cheaper than traditional vehicles. I’m pretty sure Jaguar had that in mind in setting their strategy.
    Electric cars do need to be built next to the battery plant as that is the bulk of the weight and cost. I have been saying that here for a while. (I also suggested Jaguar’s best hope of survival was to re-brand as an EV only company). We need some real urgency in getting battery plants built here to replace the engine plants that have nearly had their day whether we like it or not. As an aside I noticed that ZF have announced they will spend no more money on R&D for their automatic gearboxes for internal combustion engine vehicles.

    Perhaps there will be some rational backlash. I’m certain that a VW Polo, say, with a one litre petrol engine is a lot less environmentally damaging over it’s full life cycle than a Jaguar i-Pace. Rich people are paying up to keep their luxuries while pretending to be environmentally responsible.
    It’s also worth noting that the Chinese dominate the supply of rare earth metals that are needed for EV’s. I saw an FT report that they were considering introducing export limits in retaliation for US sanctions in an effort to hit production of US fighter jets. So we need to think all the way down the supply chain to the holes in the ground. Previously Western rare earth metals producers have been killed off by the Chinese flooding the market and driving prices down as soon as the Western company achieves volumes. We have been content to leave the highly polluting smelting processes to the Chinese. We need alternative supplies from Western countries which will also force us to face the real environmental impacts of our choices.

    Regarding perceived Britishness I fear MG may be showing the way. Many UK buyers are keen to buy their low cost electric vehicles, being well disposed to the brand even though it has been Chinese owned since 2005 and all their cars are made in China. The MG5 retails from £24,500. It’s a perfectly good car today at a price that is not just for the rich people.

    Hydrogen powered vehicles do not use internal combustion engines. They use fuel cells to produce electricity to power a smaller buffer battery that powers electric motors. In my opinion due to their weight to power ratios they are best suited to trucks, buses, trains, boats, and static installations for backup power generation and combined heat and power. Both fuel cell and lithium battery technologies are constantly improving but on balance I think battery breakthroughs such as solid lithium cells mean batteries will stay ahead as the preferred option for light passenger vehicles.

  29. Wil Pretty
    February 17, 2021

    The government’s policy that is making electricity expensive and unreliable will mitigate against any mass uptake of electrically powered vehicles.
    ICE cars made in the 90’s appear to me to be the best option. They are sturdy, reliable, reasonably frugal and with minimal exhaust fumes.

  30. Mike Wilson
    February 17, 2021

    So, we lumber on inexorably, it seems, to a near future with only electric cars that we do not, and will not, have the electricity generating capacity to charge. And the batteries in those cars are reliant on minerals we do not have here and which are and will be controlled by the world’s superpowers. And which are mined by children in third world countries.

    To be honest, I didn’t expect such a well thought through and coherent plan from Boris. I thought he would wing it giving in to whichever pressure group bleated the loudest and dropping us right in it.

  31. Dave Ward
    February 17, 2021

    In view of the current situation in Texas & Germany, one might hope the mad rush to EV’s will crash head first into the cold light of reality…

  32. ChrisS
    February 17, 2021

    This rush to electrification is at least a decade ahead of where is should be.

    Put simply, the cars are too expensive, the technology isn’t ready both in terms of range and recharging times and we don’t have the charging structure. None of these problems are going to be solved by 2030.
    People like me will be keeping their petrol and diesel cars unless the government taxes them off the road. Any government that attempts this will do so at their peril.

    Audi have ben trying to attract me to change my 17,000 mile, 2018 A7 for their new 100% electric e-tron GT. It’s a superb car and as close to my current A7 in design and space as is possible. BUT, the RRP prices starts at £25,000 above the list price of the A7 and, by buying a pre-registered A7 with 30 miles on the clock, the real world price difference would be more than £40,000.

    Then there is the range, I would be swapping a range of 625 miles and 3 minute refuelling for 298 miles (but in reality no more than 225miles ) and 90 minutes charging time on the few really fast chargers around.

    The cost to change would be approaching £50,000. Even if they had the money, nobody in their right mind would do that, would the ?

  33. a-tracy
    February 17, 2021

    Yesterday I read plans for a Gigafactory creating 4000 jobs in Coventry to make electric car batteries.
    “British manufacturer Riversimple announces collaboration with Siemens to support hydrogen car production”. FactoryNOW
    “Britishvolt signed the UK steel charter, pledging to source British-made steel for its new gigafactory in Blyth.

    Gigafactory seems to be the new buzz word. Because of all the incessant negativity, I read Jefferson_mfg advocates of British manufacturing on Twitter check them out.

  34. acorn
    February 17, 2021

    There is about £35 billion of vehicle excise duty and fuel taxes plus Vat collected in a normal year. Alas about £6 billion short due to Covid this fiscal year. Will Rishi stick that on electric vehicles or price the old diesels off the road?

    A US consumer survey says that the tipping point of mass adoption of electric vehicles is at $36,000 to purchase; must do 291 miles on a charge and take 31 minutes to charge. The last one is the big problem in the US, not enough 250kW fast chargers within five minutes distance from where the vehicle is. And then the charger may not have a plug that fits your vehicle. Fortunately, the EU standardised EV infrastructure on the CCS plug some while back.

  35. Peter from Leeds
    February 17, 2021

    One thing is constant – change.

    Great to see that British Lithium is more hopeful of extracting high quality lithium in the UK which can provide over a third of our future requirements for batteries here. This must mean more jobs in the UK.

    Whatever politicians say or do you cannot buck the market. The market valuation for Tesla says it all. There are quite a few Teslas on the road and I believe (Sir John please correct me if I am wrong) they attract a significant import tarrif unlike European manufactured cars.

    I do not really regard JLR as British (any more than BA is British) though I accept they have British based manufacturing.

    The EU has done us a favour in making us think much harder about rules of origin and the pandemic has highlighted the importance of being self sufficient in critical manufacturing capacity.

    Industries closing down offer great opportunities for new business to move in. The shipbuilding in Sunderland closing in the 70s and 80s left a ready workforce available to power one of the most efficient car factories (where they make electric cars now) in the world!

    Let us all try to be positive – first in the world with vaccines and today first in the world for challenger trials.

  36. ian@Barkham
    February 17, 2021

    There is no common sense being applied to this ‘dream’ of our bizarre government. It is not even an achievable asperation as the resources to achieve it just don’t exist. The UK Government is relying on the Chinese to bail it out by supplying a never ending source of batteries.

    This would be tantamount to just sending them all the UK’s Wealth and being held to hostage to whatever whims their rulers have. – Keep you nose out of Hong Kong, comes to mind.

    Even if the UK wanted to create its own supply of batteries, the raw materials come from China or the Congo.

    Of course as others have said in the first place we would be removing the UK’s manufacturing capability, therefore the taxpayer that creates the wealth.

    We do have the ability to move to ‘hydrogen’ a flexible alternative where you don’t have to tear up a total industry and society to achieve it. Battery technology requires the removal of everything at a massive global carbon cost in new manufacture – junking every already good product that already been manufactured. With hydrogen it allows the existing hardware to be adjusted without a the massive landfill. Hydrogen answers the mobility question and the home heating all in one go.

  37. agricola
    February 17, 2021

    Trial Comment.

  38. agricola
    February 17, 2021

    It would seem that I can now post comments.Please be kind enough to moderate “secretaria” as this was todays comment under a different flag.

  39. London Nick
    February 17, 2021

    The self-inflicted destruction of the motor industry that had been built up in Britain is tragic and a testament to this government’s monumental stupidity and anti-British policies. It is clear, however, thatthere is no going back, so now we need to decide how to make the best of it.

    The two important issues to note are, firstly, that huge government subsidies will be needed. The government has offered up to £500 million to help battery factories, but so far this is all empty promises with not a penny actually committed, and in any case, this amount is pitiful. The EU is pumping in many times that. The UK government should be offering around £3-5 BILLION, and be coughing up NOW. We have three current possible candidates for UK battery gigafactories – in Wales, Coventry and Blyth – but they are desperate for financial help and the government is watching them all struggle to get off the ground without lifting a finger. This is an act of national self-harm.

    Secondly, we need to remember that there are two forms of electric vehicles: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehices (FCEV). The difference in usage is similar to the diesel/petrol split, in that hydrogen is better for larger vehicles, such as buses and lorries. Unless there is a step-change in battery technology this is likely to persist, and certainly for long-term notions like electric planes, trains or ships.

    The UK has two (or three, depending on your definition) electric bus companies: Wrightbus in Northern Ireland (which specialise in hydrogen buses only), ADL (Alexander Dennis) in Scotland, and Optare in Yorkshire (these last two make both battery and hydrogen buses, and Optare is a subsidiary of Indian company Ashok Leyland). Wrightbus owner Jo Bamford has said the government needs to invest at least £500 million into hydrogen buses to put the UK in a leading position. So far, the government has not responded.

    The point is that we are still at the point where, with significant government help, we could develop a strong BEV and FCEV industry in the UK, but time and opportunity is slipping by. Already we see Chinese made electric buses coming here (supplanting British-made ones), and the batteries that ADL use are Chinese-made. Soon, our nascent electric industry will be still-born, killed at birth by government neglect. We need BILLIONS in state aid, and a law BANNING any public body (local government, public transport, ambulance service, police force, etc) from buying or operating ANY non UK-made electric vehicles.

  40. ian@Barkham
    February 17, 2021

    The worst of all worlds is to cause all of our infrastructure to be ripped out and dumped as trash, just to be on message with the mindless ‘WOKE’ brigade.

    Rebuilding everything in Boris’s image of a battery future is a mindless waste and an exponential release of so-called climate damage. You can’t have completely new without massive manufacture somewhere in the World.

    It is still oh so very wrong that this type of rubbish is being dumped on the taxpayer. The taxpayer is the one that is subsidising these battery car purchases. The taxpayer is financing these purchases for people that can well afford them on their own. This is the same taxpayer that cannot now and will not be able in the future to be able to make the change. That is not unifying or improving society. To use ‘Labours Word’s’ the rich get richer – all unearned by them and yet paid for by the surfs. A strange Conservative Government!

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      February 17, 2021

      Perhaps they could put charging points in bare statue bases – a mega watt one under Churchill’s.

    2. steve
      February 17, 2021

      ian@Barkham
      “Boris’s image of a battery future is a mindless waste ”

      Expect such from a cycle hat wearing snowflake who couldn’t change a spark plug to save his life.

  41. JohnK
    February 17, 2021

    Sir John,

    I am not an MP, you are. You are a senior Conservative MP. So what are you doing about this?

    Boris’s policy of stopping the sale of ICE cars by 2030 is lunacy. Where is his mandate? I voted against the Labour policy in 2019, which was to ban the sale of ICE cars by 2019. Now I find it imposed without debate by a nominally Conservative PM.

    It is not acceptable. There is no electoral mandate for the Great Reset or the Green New Deal. These were in the Labour manifesto, not the Conservative one.

    These policies are the greatest change to our lives ever. They make membership of the EU look like a footnote in history. We must have a referendum on this massive change. We cannot be held hostage by a PM who seems to be making up policy on the hoof. This will be his Poll tax. It will end the Conservative Party. If for nothing more than self preservation, you must do something about it.

    1. JohnK
      February 17, 2021

      Correction: Labour policy was to ban the sale of ICE cars by 2030. Now it is Conservative policy. Why bother voting, the government always gets in.

    2. Dennis
      February 17, 2021

      If JR were making waves about this he’d be on TV every day – as he is not this must mean he is not really doing anything or the BBC have banned him which I don’t think has happened.

    3. glen cullen
      February 17, 2021

      Wise words indeed – hope someone at Tory HQ is reading this?

  42. Iain Gill
    February 17, 2021

    I see Texas is having massive power cuts, as it is heavily reliant on wind power, and the windmills are covered in ice and therefore not working.

    Seems to be a warning sign to the UK there for any who care to look.

    1. Fred.H
      February 17, 2021

      Electric cars in Scandinavia and Scotland?

    2. glen cullen
      February 17, 2021

      I wonder if anybody in government will take note ???

  43. dixie
    February 17, 2021

    What is so special about the car industry? Why shouldn’t and weren’t the UK government engaged and concerned about all the other non-financial industries – computing, telecommunications, semiconductor, electronics, chemical, energy, aerospace, pharmaceutical, fishing, shipbuilding, clothing, food. The list of industries the politicians and almighty public sector couldn’t care less about and allowed to leave these islands about is near endless.

    The only industries they care about is finance and property closely followed by law and journalism.

  44. Ignoramus
    February 17, 2021

    It is as impossible to ban all petrol driven cars by 2030 as banning all gas cookers. All this talk is of cars, but what about lorries? Electric lorries – don’t make me laugh.

    Ambrose Evan-Pritchard has a fascinating article on the possibility of small cobalt batteries “The possibilities for the UK’s net-zero drive are tantalising”.

    Change is coming, slowly, but gesture politics, plucking dates out of the air and making laws which will have to be changed only increases the contempt for those who make them.

    1. Alan Jutson
      February 17, 2021

      +1

    2. steve
      February 17, 2021

      Iggy

      ” All this talk is of cars, but what about lorries? Electric lorries – don’t make me laugh.”

      Oh no, they’re exempt. It’s only us mugs who’ll have our freedoms taken away. You didnt think this green crap was without hypocrisy, did you ?

    3. Mockbeggar
      February 18, 2021

      Cobalt is a very expensive noble metal mined as a by-product of copper and other metals. It’s pretty rare and expensive. I believe Musk is trying to get it out of his battery terminals for that reason. It’s not particularly nice to work with either, the dust causes asthma.

  45. Clive
    February 17, 2021

    Good afternoon Sir John and all .
    Unless infrastructure to charge electric cars is put in place at a very rapid pace , all this silly talk about electric cars is just that silly, and a pointless waste of time .How on earth will people charge their car who live in a tower block , or a Victorian high street with only road side parking .
    Are seasons and climate does not bode well for such fancies . Ques on the M5 etc for charging points on a cold wet evening , stop start traffic etc ,etc, total and utter carnage .
    A quick look at Texas will show how well wind turbines work , which according to our leader will power our Country along with Solar . Like I said an utterly silly notion .

    1. Fred.H
      February 17, 2021

      they should be supplied with a fold up bike in the boot. Sadly manufacturers of tow-ropes and jumper cables will go out of business.

      1. steve
        February 17, 2021

        Fred

        Why not have EV’s equiped with pedals for use in emergency ?

        1. Fred.H
          February 18, 2021

          that made me have a much needed laugh – thank you so much.

    2. Iain Moore
      February 17, 2021

      The different cost structures between petrol and electricity driven cars is no better exposed than by who has to lay on the supply. No tax payer money was required to build petrol stations, these were built by the oil majors who were keen to sell you their petrol. Electricity points for electric cars on the other hand have to paid for and put up by the tax payer.

  46. William Long
    February 17, 2021

    But what if all this ‘Government’, really ‘Taxpayer’, help is given, and the answer turns out to be,not electric, but hydrogen fueled motive power? Then, like so much other Government promoted expenditure, all this money and effort will turn out to be wasted, and who will suffer? Not the Government, you can be sure. The truth is that we are being rushed forward, to make politicians look good, at a stage when it is still far too early to have any certainty what the best course of action might be. I think the market place is far more likely to discern that correctly than any politician.

  47. Original Richard
    February 17, 2021

    The Chinese and their western supporters must be laughing at us.

    Firstly they are continuing with fossil fuels whilst we swallow the King Canute scam that global warming is man-made rather than a natural warming which started after the last glacial maximum 22,000 years ago.

    Secondly they know that we will bankrupt ourselves attempting to achieve a political target in an impossible timescale. The necessary technology does not yet exist.

    Intermittent and unreliable green electricity currently provides just 5% of our total energy requirements. Without using nuclear it will never be able to provide anywhere near 100%.

    The necessary upgrading of the electricity supply to every single household in the country is very time-consuming and expensive.

    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.

  48. Fred.H
    February 17, 2021

    Surely a big export opportunity will be within reach – a large part of the world will not have electric cars and will want to continue with petrol/diesel. A well designed adaptable, affordable car will be in demand -supplied by UK?

  49. The Prangwizard
    February 17, 2021

    I don’t know anything about fully electric cars so forgive if this a stupid question. What happens if my battery goes flat when I’m away from a charging point.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 17, 2021

      Prang wizard. Make sure you have a pair of trainers in the car. I hope you like walking.

    2. Fred.H
      February 17, 2021

      shanks’ pony.

    3. forthurst
      February 17, 2021

      You could carry a diesel generator in the boot. Although the Tories might make that illegal as it is tantamout to cheating.

  50. MikeP
    February 17, 2021

    Sir John, in this dash for electric vehicles, Ford has announced today that it will have ONLY electric vehicles in its car range by the end of this decade.
    Clearly they have more faith than many of us in the UK’s ability to ramp up the infrastructure to provide all the extra electricity required and make it accessible.
    You mention that modern low particulate diesel engines are a UK strength, so don’t you think the Government could favour the purchase of diesel cars for the mpg and emission benefits while we all wait for a joined up electric plan?

  51. Malcolm White
    February 17, 2021

    One of the worst things about the policy of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 is that engine manufacturers will (or have) stopped engine development in the UK, as there is no longer any incentive for them to do so.

    It is estimated that a 5% improvement in ICE (internal combustion engine) efficiency and consequent reduction in CO2 emissions will offset all the possible gains in electric vehicle production and use, as discussed in the following paper for decades to come.

    https://www.thegwpf.org/banning-the-sale-of-petrol-cars-would-be-a-colossal-error/

  52. RichardM
    February 17, 2021

    Its comical how many repeat the fossil-fuelled disinformation campaign that renewable energy is somehow responsible for the Texas blackout due to wind turbines freezing. Politicians in the pockets of big-oil have even been posting a favourite far-right meme of pictures of old frozen wind turbines – from Sweden!
    The truth is this is to cover up the failure of local Government – the Governor has not wanted to raise taxes to bring their grid system up to scratch and under regulation to join the larger networks.

    1. forthurst
      February 17, 2021

      Don’t blame the Governor; blame the eco-loons who announced that snow was a thing of the past.
      Blame the eco-loons who said that windmills would provide reliable energy and savetheplanet at the same time.

      1. hefner
        February 20, 2021

        What about blaming the Texans themselves who since the 30s have been so wary of the federal government that their electricity network is not connected to those of neighbouting states. Do you realise how ridiculous you are with your Texas nightmare stories? Have you seen any particular problems being discussed coming from Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, states used to have real freakish winters?
        You’re the perfect gullible reader of tabloid websites.

  53. John McDonald
    February 17, 2021

    We must consider the use of Hydrogen as a fuel. Not put all effort into battery cars. Big batteries are a pollution generating product. They don’t last for ever and they are not renewable like Hydrogen.
    More efficient to have a modern version of the old gas works to generate hydrogen. Elasticity is used to produce the hydrogen. But you only have water to dispose of rather than a very very big dead battery.

    1. steve
      February 17, 2021

      John McDonald

      “We must consider the use of Hydrogen as a fuel.”

      Ok if you run an internal combustion engine on it, but more likely they’d insist on fuel cell systems…just so a certain very rich company that has monopoly on the global supply of platinum can get even richer.

  54. Paul Cuthbertson
    February 17, 2021

    The first sentence sums it up – “world climate change conference” and the idiots that believe all this BS. This all about control of the masses. Wake up people. Nothing can stop what is coming, nothing.
    If truthful comment are made here they are not published.
    JR has written a book “We dont believe You” Why Populists and the Establishment See the World Differently but still pushes government establishment narrative.

  55. L Jones
    February 17, 2021

    It’s a pity all this ”green” tosh wasn’t laid out clearly in the Conservative manifesto at the General Election. I wouldn’t have voted for this party had I known such destructive and ruinous things were planned for our country. Not being content with crippling and devastating ”lockdowns”, it seems that this ”green” agenda is going to be used as the final nail in our coffin. And therefore the coffin of your party too.

    1. glen cullen
      February 17, 2021

      Agree – there isn’t a mandate for this ”green” agenda

    2. Andy
      February 17, 2021

      It was literally laid out on the first page of the 2019 Conservative manifesto.

      1. Fred.H
        February 18, 2021

        how does one ‘literally lay out’?

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      February 17, 2021

      +1

    4. steve
      February 17, 2021

      L Jones

      Exactly right. If I had known Johnson was going to pull this stunt I wouldn’t have voted tory either.

      Still, I won’t be voting for them ever again. You can’t trust them not just because of their lies, but also because of what they’re not telling you.

  56. Ed
    February 17, 2021

    Net zero is an eco-loon fantasy. To achieve this (0n a back of the envelope calculation) we would need a generating capacity of 300 GW by 2050. Split equally between nuclear and wind (‘no emssions’) would require 50 new nuclear power stations. Two a year for 25 years, and the construction, siting, connection and maintenance of 75000 wind turbines, 10 a day every day for 25 years.
    Good Luck Boris, you fool.

    1. steve
      February 17, 2021

      Ed

      “Net zero is an eco-loon fantasy.”
      Lunacy doesnt have much to do with it, not when you consider who will be raking in the bucks. It’s a globalist scam, is what it is.

  57. Mark
    February 17, 2021

    It is shocking, but unsurprising, how our politicians are still on the eco-lunacy train.

    Perhaps the events in USA and Germany will focus a few minds?

    Sadly, I see no big change in policy until the realities of modern energy demand and usage crash into the physical realities and limits of renewable power generation.

    It would be nice if a few more people started talking about the child labour and ecological problems wrought by the demand for the minerals required.

  58. kb
    February 17, 2021

    Let’s hope the 2030 target will be quietly forgotten, after we have got this COP virtue-signalling event over with in Glasgow.

  59. ChrisS
    February 17, 2021

    Pity we don’t have frequent referenda on political issues as they do in Switzerland.
    I suspect if the banning of new IC engined cars from 2030 was put to the vote, it would be rejected.
    Change the date to 2050 and it might be approved.

    We can only hope that common sense will prevail and we see a switch to Hydrogen Fuel cell technology. This will only happen when it dawns on both the motor the industry and government that we are not going to buy their inconvenient and expensive electric vehicles.

    In the meantime, I’m going to buy a 600hp, turbocharged, V8-engined convertible sports car and enjoy it while I can………..

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 17, 2021

      Good for you Chris.

    2. steve
      February 17, 2021

      Chris S

      “…..Hydrogen Fuel cell technology. ”

      Still an electric car, no engine, no heart, no soul. Just a gimmick cheap as chips to make but requiring debt enslavement of the masses to buy. The scam is obvious.
      Perfectly suited to virtue signallers too thick to know one end of a spanner from the other.

      1. Fred.H
        February 18, 2021

        and owners of modern petrol and diesel cars never need spanners.

  60. F. Dixon
    February 17, 2021

    I agree with the comments made about the production of cars and the absolutely amazing development of clean diesel engines in Britain. The engineers must be tearing their hair out. Why oh why are we throwing away this technology and why have the Government not argued, explained and supported these improvements, especially after the money poured by the people of the UK into their development. I am though more worried about the production and distribution of (renewable) electricity that is supposed to fuel our cars in the future. The cost to the UK population of simply continuing to subsidize ever more renewable electricity is mind-boggling and worse most people don’t even understand or recognize the level of engineering and rebuilding required to reinforce the electricity network and distribution systems. That costs and it costs a lot. It also requires highly educated and trained people to design the networks, physically to build them and then to maintain them. Are we training these people? Regulated companies like the electricity distributors have to look totally to the regulator to allow them to recover the costs of these massive projects. That will happen as the regulator has itself been captured by the ‘green’ lobby, when they should be asking the big questions about the cost impact on customers. As a nation I do not believe that we are remotely prepared for this change or the impact on so many fundamental businesses, organisations or individuals. The cost is going to be horrendous and for what overall benefit?

  61. NickC
    February 17, 2021

    JR, The real issue is not the cars but the energy source.

    Assume we get the government’s ambition – electric homes and cars. Where is the electrical energy to come from, and how is to be distributed? Does the government even know how much? And when will the government start to build it?

    1. Andy
      February 17, 2021

      The energy source is the Sun. You know – the big yellow ball in the sky? The energy source is the wind. The energy source is the tide. And the waves. When you have built the infrastructure to harness this energy the energy itself is FREE! Yes. You should like free stuff, you’re a Tory. And there are these amazing things called BATTERIES that enable us to store electricity for use on days when we can’t generate as much.

      Last year renewables were our biggest source of energy as a country. We also used LESS electricity despite having far more devices which use electricity. Your lights didn’t go out. You didn’t notice that your fridge was running on wind power.

      Genuinely you lot need just to calm down. We have had enough of you polluting the planet with your toxic filth. You lost. Get on board or get left behind. Not that being left behind would be usual for you luddites.

  62. Diane
    February 17, 2021

    I’ve probably at some stage said this before but have any of those pushing us mere mortals into these electric vehicles ever been anywhere near, for example, the Dartford Tunnel, to name but one, on a good day, though better served if they were there on a bad day. Assuming inbound / outbound commercial international traffic continues at similar rates are we to assume, believe, hope that in say 9 years time, the daily thousands of huge lorries, containers, trucks, passenger coaches & vans, much being non-domestic, will be mostly clean and battery powered and my mind boggles thinking about required support infrastructure.

  63. Lynn
    February 17, 2021

    The Greencrap is just like unilateral disarmament.

    1. glen cullen
      February 17, 2021

      More like cabinet members running scared of the green press and non-elected associates….they’re all given in like they did with the brexit deal and the NIP

      1. Fred.H
        February 18, 2021

        running scared of what? One Green MP?

        1. glen cullen
          February 18, 2021

          the media and the woke voter

  64. The Prangwizard
    February 17, 2021

    Texas and many other US states are getting a cold spell. Our media are covering in the main the problems in Texas and they say millions are without elecrical power. At least with a petrol or diesel car people can still get about, on mercy missions to their elderly parents perhaps. But if they are only allowed electric cars in the future they will be imprisoned and many more people will die because of ideology. That’s what our climate clange believers are bringing about.

  65. jon livesey
    February 17, 2021

    You are describing the typical emergence of any new technology. There is always a point where encouraging the practical development of the new technology conflicts with the existing investment in previous technologies. This is where you have to trust businessmen to be able to predict what is going to be the winning technology in the long term, and invest appropriately. There is nothing unique to automobiles here; it happens in every product industry. About the only thing Government can do is delay or accelerate existing trends, not change what is bound to happen in the long run.

  66. Fred.H
    February 17, 2021

    another question: several dozen motorists, if not more, drive into deep ‘fords’ and get stuck or washed downstream every year. There is one quite near us, and the fools ignore the signs.
    Will they get electrocuted?.

  67. Stephen Reay
    February 17, 2021

    You are all missing the point. The whole idea is to reduce emissions which are damaging the earths atmosphere. If we reduce carbon emissions it will save the world for you, and for the next generations who follow. The world has got warmer since the industrial revelation “fact”. Yes we would like to keep our diesel and petrol cars and combi boilers, me to ! , but that would be selfish , and only thinking of ourselves. The damage has mainly been done on our watch, therefore it should for us to lead the way forward.

  68. steve
    February 17, 2021

    On the other hand, Mr Redwood, JLR could be lobbying the government not to ban the manufacture and sale of real engines.

    But no, they’ve jumped in on the cheap to make expensive to buy EV scam. I certainly won’t ever again be buying anything from that company.

  69. glen cullen
    February 17, 2021

    This isn’t about the ‘’green’’ agenda – Its whether the green agenda is a choice or not

    Green as a choice in a level playing field in a non-subsidised market condition
    Or
    Green imposed upon its citizens, mandatory by 2025 using taxpayer subsidy

    Which one is the Tory policy ???

  70. john waugh
    February 17, 2021

    Engineers are working on many progressive ideas .
    Progress will be made.
    Lots of proposals are on the table ,together with one explosive package .
    Dont burn your bridges I used to hear .
    That used to mean after you have crossed them.
    Now it is being planned to burn the bridges before we cross them .
    The device explodes at some preset time frequently being reset to an earlier time.

    An attempt to come up with something useful anyone can do –
    Buy a battery operated device fitted with motion sensor and
    LED lights – they are compact and could save you from falling down the stairs
    in that complete and utter darkness when electric power is lost.

  71. Lindsay McDougall
    February 17, 2021

    Advance notice of allowing only electric cars is needed to give industry time to adjust. After 2030 only electric cars and plug in hybrids might be sold, leaving existing diesel and petrol cars to wither on the vine (the economic life of a car is of the order of 10 years). This will allow time to allow the private sector to install the necessary high speed charging points in the field – some in place of filling stations, some using spare space in supermarket car parks etc. Why are governments incapable of working with the grain of market forces?

    1. Fred.H
      February 18, 2021

      Wherever did you get the idea of ‘economic life of petrol/diesel car being 10 years’?
      We have a car from new that is 11 years old, looks almost like new, has never been garaged, has an annual service, has never had a repair costing more than £300 (apart from 1 disputed clutch failure) and does 40mpg we consider fair on lots of short trips. We are told the engine etc should be good for another 5 to 10 years without major work.

  72. glen cullen
    February 18, 2021

    Jaguar Land Rover are getting rid of 2000 employees as a result of going green by 2025

    They no longer need staff to assembly exhaust systems, clutch mechanism, sensors, oil & coolant

    The supply businesses that make exhausts, clutches, sensors and oil/coolant will also go bust with more staff on the dole

    All thanks to the Tory green policy and not market conditions

    1. hefner
      February 21, 2021

      Aren’t they beautiful those people able to distinguish ‘market conditions’ from decisions taken by a government. That’s what you get from people having been fed for years on the ‘monkey poo’ of politicians’ take on economic policies. Rather funny.

  73. David Brown
    February 18, 2021

    Overall we have too many cars and lorries on the roads, as a car driver I’m more in favour of public transport both train and bus, and more freight by train. I believe cars should be banded in town and city centers.
    Car manufacturing will probably end in this country primarily due to high export costs. I feel manufacturing is slowly been killed off in Britain.
    There is a dash to electric and that’s the end of engine production.
    Also oil companies are moving away from oil to hydrogen and other experimental fuels, so petrol and diesel will become much less available.
    I feel that hydrogen is a better fuel as many commentators have noted that batteries are not economic or environmentally friendly. Battery technology still has not changed enough yet.

  74. glen cullen
    February 19, 2021

    Where is the freedom of choice

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