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Zac Goldsmith's greener politics for the rise of EVs

20 July 2011
Zac Goldsmith's greener politics for the rise of EVs

By Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, The Climate Group. 

I like Zac Goldsmiths ideas on transport, reported in BusinessGreen today. The electric vehicle market is suffering from the fact that everyone looks at sticker prices on cars and not the running cost. Yet if we take this issue and apply the same principles to conventionally fuelled cars, then the same must be true!

Having a massively high sticker price, due to tax, for a polluting car, next door to a same sector car that has a strong environmental performance and low price, will be transformational.

Perhaps an extension on his comments and ideas would be to look at an exponential curve applied to the amount of CO2 the vehicle produces?

I drove a Rolls Royce EV a few weeks ago and have previously had the pleasure on many occasions of driving a Tesla. I have also been involved in several proposals to look at iconic high profile vehicles that are ultra-low carbon (or even ‘zero’ carbon when measured under the current rules of NEDC and EU regulations), so I know it is possible to get exciting products in all sectors of the market that don’t pollute.

By having an exponential curve applied to the polluter pays principle, then we will shift the market rapidly towards low carbon.

‘You get what you measure’ has been demonstrated clearly with the new 130g/km CO2 EU regulations. We are now seeing a huge shift in cars that just get under the 120g targets and quite a few sneaking under the 100g. When the legislation was negotiated I think these vehicles were considered ‘almost impossible’ and would ‘cost way to much'.

The other noticeable trend is the number of vehicles that are now hitting the NEDC measured values, but which are a long way off these suggested figures when put to real world situations.

So let’s see this type of policy brought forward robustly, and the rise of EVs will become exponential not only in the small medium car sector,  but in the less traditional executive, super luxury, sport utility and sports car sectors which will change the way our society looks at these great products.

Back to the EV blog.

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