11th Aug, 2017
The British motoring world is about to be hit by some pretty big changes, which we’re sure to feel the tail end of here at Scrap Car Network – as you are at home! Essentially, from 2040 the sales of new petrol and diesel cars will cease entirely, as part of the government’s plan to tackle air pollution. What’s left, then, once you scrap your car? At the moment, it’s looking like our best bet is electric cars, but if so, they’re really going to need to up their game to keep up with demand. So why is this all kicking off now?
It sounds simple enough from the outset: the government plans to ban the sales of all petrol and diesel cars in just over 20 years. This is part of their wider strategy to make every vehicle on our roads completely zero-emissions by 2050. Where are they getting the funding, you might be asking? Well, mainly by changes to tax on diesel vehicles, and reprioritising internal budgets of certain departments. (You might have guessed the diesel vehicle issue is going to be a bit controversial, but we’ll come onto that in a second.)
It’s all very ambitious, and the government has already rolled out some initial stages of the plan in select local boroughs. The reception so far has been positive, but there are some wider issues with the plans that have yet to be addressed. One of these is the lack of a scrappage scheme – in other words, a structured plan that supports people in getting rid of their environmentally-unfriendly cars, and transferring to new ones. At the moment, without a plan to help scrap cars efficiently, the consumer is left shouldering the cost of the change.
To be honest, pollution levels are actually falling in the UK, so we’re vaguely on the right track. The problem is that it’s not happening nearly fast enough. Air pollution has been a concern of the government for a good old while now, and it’s being linked to tens of thousands of deaths each year. The government have recently lost a number of court cases regarding nitrous oxide emissions and air pollution, too – which has not been helped by the fact that some car manufacturers have been found to be cheating emissions tests. All in all, it’s not hard to see why it’s becoming more and more of an issue in the public eye.
Diesel vehicles at the moment are producing the vast number of nitrous oxide coming from ‘roadside sources’, which is one of the main reasons they’re being targeted by the government’s funding initiatives.
There are hopes that electric cars are going to rise to fill the gap left by diesel and petrol cars, but they have a long way to go yet – right now, electric cars account for less than 1% of car sales, and there aren’t nearly enough charging points for them to support the likely demand.
If you read one of our previous blogs, you’ll understand why there’s already some annoyance over the charges levelled at diesel car owners – not least because they were actively encouraged to go diesel at one stage, and many now believe they are being penalised for it.
The government have justified the absence of a scrappage scheme because at the moment it would be difficult to target the scheme at people who actually need to scrap their car, and not let it simply become a subsidy for those who fancy a change of motor. It’d be likely to cost the government something in the region of £110m, too, which goes some way to explaining their reluctance! Meanwhile, environmental campaigners don’t think the plans go nearly far enough, and say that it still leaves us with over two decades of breathing unclean air.
Plus, electric vehicles need to get a shift on if they’re going to close the gap in time to become a viable alternative. That means we’re going to need more efficient batteries, more charging points, and assurances that the National Grid is going to be able to cope with everyone plugging in their car at once after rush hour. There’s a lot to consider!
Don’t worry though – we’ve still got plenty of time for the full details to be ironed out. In the meantime, you can scrap your car with impunity, whether it runs on petrol, diesel, electricity, or hopes and dreams. It all begins with an instant online quote – just click here to get started!
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