Will life ever be the same with the demise of the internal combustion engine? When I started my career in the motor trade more than 30 years ago, I could never have imagined the day when our beloved petrol engine would be outlawed…. surely only milk floats were powered by battery!
It seems that the day of reckoning is coming quickly, and we will all have to adapt very soon if the date of 2030 isn’t going to have to be put back. Whilst the merits of clean energy are there for all to see (more so now in view of the recent climate change report that’s just been published), the speed that it has been dropped on motor manufacturers is downright unfair. If we look at how both petrol and diesel engines have improved over the past couple of decades, it’s been quite staggering. More power, more economy and less polluting. If only they (OEM’s) had been given the chance to improve them even further, wouldn’t have that have made more sense?
A better solution for the government would have been to allow cars to be powered by any means including petrol, so long as they hit the zero-emission target. Who knows what would have happened but a missed opportunity all the same. Of course, it’s not entirely the end of that beautiful throaty roar us motor traders have come to love, as many other countries around the world will no doubt stick, rightly or wrongly, to burning fossil fuels well into this century.
In the UK we will now have to quickly ramp up the number of charging points if the target date is going to be feasible, and electric vehicles will need to drastically improve the range and the speed of charging if this there’s any chance of it working en-masse. There’s other issues too; if someone lives in a house without a drive, how will they charge their vehicle at home… a wire through the window perhaps crossing the footpath? Another fundamental problem will be the UK’s ability to provide sufficient electricity…. If everyone charges at once…will the lights go out?
There’s a lot to consider no doubt, but one bonus we in the motor trade will get is that there’ll be a lot of opportunity as a result of the switch, and we must face the fact that even though us old timers like the smell and roar of a beautiful V12 engine, our future and that of our children is far more important.
Short article by Simon Young – FISC’s Managing Director