MPs Call on UK Government to Ditch 2030 Ban of New Petrol and Diesel Cars

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A number of MPs on Tuesday called on the government to ditch its plan to ban the sales of new petrol- and diesel-powered cars and vans from 2030 as a new analysis estimated the cost of the policy will be five times the benefit.

Craig McKinlay, Conservative chair of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers, said the policy is unjustifiable with “such an unbalanced ratio of costs to benefits.”

But a spokesperson for the Department for Transport said the report “has misleading claims on the cost to households and ignores the benefits of electric vehicles.”

The analysis, which was published on Tuesday, was carried out by consultancy firm Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr); funded by campaign groups FairFuelUK, the Alliance of British Drivers, and the Motorcyle Action Group; and sanctioned by the Fair Fuel APPG.

The analysis says the 2030 ban will cost Britons an estimated £400 billion, compared to £76 billion worth of benefits, and that the central benefit-cost ratio estimate is 0.19.

The cost analysis included “monetised costs” such as CO2 emissions during vehicle manufacture, purchasing costs of new vehicles, and time and infrastructure needed for charging the vehicles; and “non-monetised impacts” such as job losses and the international demand for raw materials and the associated environmental damage.

Cebr recommended the government undertake its own analysis, saying, “The findings of this report strongly suggest that a similar government-led analysis would come to a similar conclusion: that the benefits to UK households of implementing the fossil fuel vehicle sale bans are far outweighed by the costs. estimated to be just over five times higher than the benefits.”

Calling the finding “staggering,” McKinlay called on the government to abandon the policy, which he said “can only leave people worse off,” adding that there are also a “limited supply of the elements required for batteries [that are] largely under Chinese control” and  “human misery associated with the mining process.”

Karl McCartney, Conservative member of the Transport Select Committee, also called on the government to ditch the plan, saying the UK’s more than 35 million vehicles “cannot be ‘removed’ nor replaced by expensive electric vehicles.”

“There is [sic] not enough raw materials for the batteries required in the world, nor is there the power generation capacity available, nor is there the infrastructure to deliver such power requirements … even if such power could be generated,” he said.

Conservative MP John Redwood and Labour MP Graham Stringer also joined the call for the government to U-turn on the policy.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman rides along a cycle lane next to heavy traffic in Birmingham, England, on Jan. 25, 2022. (Jacob King/PA)

FairFuelUK founder Howard Cox accused the government of “decreeing a scientifically baseless ill-informed green policy” and “sleep-walking into an economic Armageddon,” calling on Prime Minister Liz Truss to “put an end to the virtue signalling and un-consulted attempt to ban new diesel and petrol cars.”

As part of the government’s “ten point plan for a green industrial revolution,” former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in November last year that the UK will ban the sales of new petrol- and diesel-powered cars and vans from 2030, ten years ahead of the government’s original plan.

A consultation on phasing out new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans had been carried out in 2020 between Feb. 20 and July 31.

According to the government, “three broad positions” emerged from the responses from 1,305 individuals and 173 organisations: The earliest feasible phase-out date is in 2040; it’s achievable to bring the date forward to 2035 but not earlier; and 2035 is “not sufficiently ambitious and will not go far enough in reducing carbon emissions.”

Asked about the consultation, Cox told The Epoch Times in an email that it’s “hardly a consultation” because the number of individual respondents represented 0.004 percent of drivers in the UK.

In an email to The Epoch Times, a spokesperson for the Department for Transport said, “This report has misleading claims on the cost to households and ignores the benefits of electric vehicles, which are becoming more affordable as manufacturing costs fall and second-hand cars enter the market.

“Electric vehicles offer opportunities for savings against their petrol and diesel counterparts thanks to cheaper charging, lower maintenance costs and tax incentives—not to mention the potential for creating growth and jobs in the UK,” the statement reads.

Lily Zhou

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Lily Zhou is an Irish-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily first joined the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times before turning her focus on the UK in 2020. Contact Lily at lily.zhou@epochtimes.com



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