The United Kingdom is moving backwards from electric cars

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If climate change, the signs of which are increasingly evident, forces governments to make radical decisions with a view to turning the ship around, a reality is catching up with them: inflation and the increase in the cost of life.

This is why the UK believes that forcing consumers to adopt electric vehicles too quickly will only add to their financial burden. We therefore took the decision to postpone the ban on the sale of new thermal vehicles in the United Kingdom for another 5 years.

Slippery terrain

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision was reportedly motivated by the high price of electric vehicles. In his opinion, forcing consumers to buy electric does not help them from a financial point of view. This is why it intends to authorize the sale of new thermal vehicles until 2035 rather than 2030 as the English government had originally announced. He claims that this decision would be a way “to calm the energy transition in the country”.

Obviously, such a decision acts a bit like a two-edged sword. On the one hand, Mr Sunak’s arguments are entirely legitimate in a world where the middle class is increasingly squeezed into a vise. Without government incentive rebates, new electric vehicles are very expensive, even if we take into account the fact that we no longer consume fuel. For many families, this is simply out of reach.

This strategy could, however, have its share of perverse effects in the sense that it could fuel detractors of electric vehicles, become a political weapon or, worse, motivate automobile manufacturers to market more polluting vehicles.

Remember that it is by motivating the sale of electric vehicles that their price can eventually fall. It is also by imposing their marketing in a market On this account, there are still a lot of questions surrounding Mr. Sunak’s decision: what he intends to do during these additional 5 years, in particular.

RPM’s opinion

Mr Sunak’s decision is very strange. Not only does it transpose to 2035 a problem that we are experiencing in 2023, but it also goes against the global consensus to collectively reduce our GHG emissions. Yes, it’s true. Life is expensive, and new electric vehicles are very expensive. But if consumers don’t buy them because the price is too high, supply will inevitably become higher than demand, and prices will eventually fall. The economy will do its job.

By 2030, the economic situation will certainly have changed significantly. It is curious to see a Prime Minister assume that today’s problems will not be resolved in 7 years. He should know that it is by motivating the manufacturing of electric vehicles, especially in his own country, that manufacturers will end up offering consumers competitive prices that will better match their financial reality.

This article is originally published on rpmweb.ca

 

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