How would you feel about giving up your car?
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After the recent concerns on air quality the Government is being pushed to clean up the air and of course motor vehicles are one of the main targets.
Having been encouraged, not that long ago, to get into a diesel powered vehicle we are now firmly on the path of banning the sale of the combustion powered vehicles from 2030. There may continue to be a concession for petrol hybrids for a further five years but from this year you will see a number of new electric powered models to be launched and this will continue along with other possibilities but all designed to prevent harmful emissions.
Hydrogen is another opportunity gaining strength but many manufacturers are committed to the electric path and momentum is gathering. We in the motor industry have, for the most part, embraced this new initiative with all its additional costs in manufacture, technology, and infrastructure, not to mention training and the potential of less maintenance work required in the future. We understand this is for the good of us all and hope that other suppliers of harmful gases join this revolution so that future generations will get the maximum benefit they deserve.
Now as the pace gathers there are those who wish to limit the freedom of the motor car even further, not only encouraging you to use your car less, but even in certain cases to get rid of your car altogether. This may well be understood in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other big cities where there are many choices of alternate transport, both public and private, and there is less necessity for a car unless of course you wish to visit family and friends. Some councils are building new housing estates which not only have no off road parking but no on road parking allowed either.
The investment required in public transport will be immense and In many areas the hardest hit will be the less well-off so the Government and councils will have to subsidise this additional transport and raise the necessary taxes to do so. Rural areas, who currently have no rail or underground and live with an inconvenient and expensive bus service will need special attention if they are not to be restricted in movement in the long term.
Furthermore, how are we going to visit family, relatives, and friends who are based around the country? If the cheapest method is to hire a vehicle that would be one possibility, but that certainly is not the case at the present. Would all our shopping have to be done in walking distance or online? Will we be taking our holidays on a bus, train or plane if we want to explore new venues? What about their emissions? Would any of us be happy if we were without our personal transport in this pandemic? I think not.
Realistically, the car and freedom of personal transport has become part of our lives and for the average family is vital to their existence. Of course things are changing all the time and faster than ever, but before we lose our cars we must have a comparable and cost effective alternative.
I look forward to next week. Keep safe and keep smiling.