All this is bad news for the Government, as it has a legal obligation to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.
This is a government that has also recently started a consultation for how the UK should regulate CO2 emissions for cars in the event of a no-deal Brexit outcome.
The government’s position on the consultation, which closes on 28 November, proposes that the UK is “at least as ambitious as the regulations established in the EU” and will seek to closely align to the EU-wide target of 95g/km for an industry fleet average to avoid that particular part of a car maker’s business plan being ripped up.
Interestingly, there is a nod to the fact that Britain tends to make heavier cars than the rest of the EU (our main domestic car maker being Jaguar Land Rover, not, say, Fiat), which could be proportionally reflected in the figures. There’s also the maintaining of super-credits, which reward car makers who make zero-emission vehicles.
Deal or no deal, should the EU (or potentially UK) mandated CO2 averages not be met, it’s going to mean bad news for us car buyers. If fleet CO2 averages don’t fall to an average of 95g/km by 2021, car makers will receive huge financial penalties. We can all guess who’ll end up paying for that…
Sell more electrified cars, improve air quality, reduce CO2 emissions, hit CO2 targets; none of these goals are contradictory, and all are things the Government can have an impact on.
Yet this same government has just removed grants for plug-in hybrids and cut them for electric cars, just as choice is increasing and they become more viable. There’s no mention of their return in the consultation document.