Expert says banning petrol and diesel cars is symbolically important

Expert says banning petrol and diesel cars is symbolically important
Credit: University of the West of England

Following the announcement yesterday that the government plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2040 Professor Graham Parkhurst, Director of the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), says that this announcement is symbolically important.

Professor Parkhurst comments, "Given the severe nature of the problem here and now, this announcement is largely symbolic in that respect.

"The symbolism is important, however, as it confirms that the UK Government has finally accepted the seriousness of the situation, having previously failed to meet its own statutory responsibilities and having fought the need for significant action on air quality though the courts.

"It will need to be the other measures in the air quality action plan that actually improve .

"Electric vehicles as currently designed would make an important contribution to improving air quality, but they will not completely remove the problem, as brake linings and tyres also make a significant contribution to particulate matter pollution, which also causes health problems.

"The UK announcement only affects pure diesel and petrol internal combustion engine-vehicles. Hybrids are excluded.

"As the Swedish manufacturer Volvo has committed to produce only electric and from as soon as 2019 - the first major manufacturer to make such a commitment - then it shows that at least part of the industry could achieve such a switch for new vehicles much more quickly.

"China is considering tough limits on the share of petrol and diesel sales which could strongly promote alternative fuel cars, as happened in the past in California.

"As well as hybrid vehicles, sales of internal combustion engine vehicles using gas fuels (natural gas, hydrogen) could continue, although there are barriers to take-up of these fuels that make a better option.

"The main reason for the cautious approach would appear to be concern about potential increases in the consumer prices of new cars. It is true that battery electric and hybrid vehicles remain considerably more expensive than conventional vehicles. In the case of hybrids this is due to the complexities of having two power systems and the need for further technology to integrate them.

"Battery electric vehicles are actually simpler than diesel and petrol cars; it is just the battery cost and the scale of production that makes them expensive.

"With or without this announcement, the days of governments across Europe relying on Fuel Excise Duty as a key source of taxation are ending; a decline that I first observed in a publication in 2002. As electricity for domestic use is the same as for road use, it would not be straightforward to charge tax on it at different rates for different purposes. The most likely alternative is a pay-as-you-drive road user charge, not limited to cities.

"It would not make sense only to charge for road use in cities or just in places with high congestion. First, the charge would have to be very high if it were only applied in congested places. Second, road use would be so cheap given the current price of electricity that car use would increase sharply if no charge were applied to uncongested roads.

"It is most likely that charges will be applied in the context of roads become more of a 'mobility service', with charges being made for allowing travellers to use their vehicles in 'driverless' mode on motorways, possibly in reserved lanes, and/or for charging on the move; trials are underway on the possibility for motorway lanes which allow inductive charging, such as is currently available on a much smaller scale for some battery-powered items such as smartphones and electric toothbrushes."


Explore further

France to end sales of petrol, diesel vehicles by 2040

More information: Parkhurst, G., (2002). The top of the escalator? In Lyons, G., Chatterjee, K., (Eds). Transport Lessons from The Fuel Tax Protests of 2000. Ashgate, Aldershot, 299-321.
Citation: Expert says banning petrol and diesel cars is symbolically important (2017, July 27) retrieved 15 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-expert-petrol-diesel-cars-important.html
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Jul 27, 2017
"Expert says banning petrol and diesel cars is symbolically important"

-So is throwing blood on fur stoles and lying down in front of nuke trains and banning lockback pocketknives. To a certain demographic subset at any rate.

Jul 28, 2017
How should the power be generated to make the cars work, if it is not by burning the same kinds of fuel as the equivalent fossil fueled car uses today? It may be more efficient to generate the electricity centrally, but the same problem is unsolved until dependence on any kind of fossil fuels has been eliminated.

Jul 28, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jul 28, 2017
How should the power be generated to make the cars work, if it is not by burning the same kinds of fuel as the equivalent fossil fueled car uses today?

Ok, here's for stupid:

You have a fossil fuel economy. You build some renewables (EVs, solar power plants, wind farms, whatever) by using fossil fuel energy. You plonk them down and add them to the mix (say they then make up 5% of your energy generation).

The next few EVs, solar panels, what-have-you are now built using 95% fossil fuel power and 5% renewable power. You plonk them down and add them to the mix. (say they then make up 10% of your energy generation)

The next few EVs, solar panels, what-have-you are now built using 90% fossil fuel power and 10% renewable power. You plonk them down and add them to the mix.

Rinse, repat until you're at 100% renewables.

Is that really so hard to understand? Are there really people in the world who haven't got the brain cells to see how this works?

Jul 28, 2017
cept the first ones you plonked down are now bankrupt and derelict

Jul 30, 2017
Is that really so hard to understand?
Yes, because "100% renewables" can not prove itself even on a small scale.
Are there really people in the world who haven't got the brain cells to see how this works?
Unlike green sociopaths that have brain cells that are able to believe collectively in their own lies, other people don't have such marvelous capability.

Jul 30, 2017
cept the first ones you plonked down are now bankrupt and derelict

Bankrupt? How so. Derelict? As long as you continue to increase the overall percentage with each generation you eventually end up at 100%. That's just simple math.

And don't act as if other powerplants don't have to be replaced, too. So what's your point, exactly?

Seriously...it's like talking to toddlers sometimes.

Yes, because "100% renewables" can not prove itself even on a small scale.

Since small scale (and even entire nations) are already showing that it can be done...what are you babbeling about?
https://en.wikipe...ctricity

Reality trumps ideology - every time.

Jul 31, 2017
Hydro and geothermal have geographical limitations and cause huge ecological impacts, and biomass is worse than coal in terms of greenhouse gas emission.Geothermal and hydropower resources are ever scarcer, land for biomass too.
"Reservoirs are a major source of global greenhouse gases, scientists say"
https://www.washi...e-gases/
"Why dams are significant sources of methane – a greenhouse gas far more potent than CO2"
http://e360.yale....-matters
"Geothermal power facility induces earthquakes, study finds"
https://news.ucsc...kes.html
"Biomass More Polluting Than Coal"
https://www.ecowa...699.html
"Why ... exclude nuclear energy for its radiation embrace geothermal?"
https://pbs.twimg...-t79.jpg

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