Gordon Brown says that by 2020 he wants all new cars sold in Britain to be electric or hybrid vehicles producing less than 100 g/km of CO2.
Speaking at the G8 summit in Japan where an agreement to aim for a cut in global carbon emissions by 50% by 2050 was announced, said: “I genuinely think that this new technology – hybrids and so on – can be adopted widely to the benefit of the ordinary family, to change the family car and make it far more energy efficient. And over time to make it cheaper to use energy.
“I think a combination of [higher] car licence and petrol costs could – if we could develop the new technology – be to the benefit of car drivers. I can see there being incentives to people to adopt hybrid cars.”
So Gordon Brown thinks there will be affordable and practical electric cars for us all in 12 years time, just as he thinks that higher car licence and petrol costs could be “to the benefit of car drivers”.
Did Gordon Brown actually bother to think and research this subject before saying all this? The vision may be a good sound bite but does he have a plan to make this happen? Yes, electric cars are an important way forward, and hybrids can be more energy efficient than conventional cars, especially in urban areas, but is Gordon Brown not aware of BMW’s EfficientDynamics, VW’s BlueMotion, SEAT’s EcoMotive, Ford’s ECOnetic and Skoda’s Greenline…? – some of the UK’s most fuel-efficient cars, and not an electric motor in sight.
And what about the power supply that the electric cars will run off? Is Gordon Brown intending to move the CO2 emissions to what would be a very overloaded fossil fuel power station, or is he secretly planning an announcement about the UK magically transforming itself to be a leader in renewable energy in the next few years? And what encouragement is Gordon Brown giving to inspire UK industry to be a world pioneer in electric vehicles development?
In a separate development, the government has come under renewed, intensive fire about its plans for the new car tax system, especially the retrospective element, which would see large increases applied to many cars from 2001 onwards that people already own. Perhaps Gordon Brown’s plan is to tax families out of cars they bought 5 years ago, that will now have lost their value due to the proposed increased taxes, and get them to buy a new electric car such as a $100,000 2 seater Tesla electric roadster.
It would seem that Gordon Brown really knows that everyone won’t be in electric cars by 2020, and so he will have to tax everyone because of it. At least Gordon Brown seems highly unlikely to still be around as Prime Minister by 2020.