Report accuses government of lacking strategy for low-carbon cars
26 May 2009

The government is failing to tackle vehicle emissions and is trailing behind much of Europe on green thinking, claims a new report. It also criticises ministers for not producing a clear strategy for low-carbon transport.

The study “Low Carbon Vehicles: Driving the UK’s Transport Revolution”, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, claims that the government’s electric car plan is short-sighted and that a range of other beneficial technologies are being ignored.

The report’s author, Richard Folkson, said the government’s focus on electric cars forced the IMechE to act.

“The government is backing a winner when we don’t know what the winner is,” he told Autocar.

“Now the public thinks that if you buy an electric car you are going to save the planet, and that is misleading.”

UK's electric car 'revolution'

He said that without urgent action, a UK pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050 will be missed by a “significant margin”.

Folkson’s report recommends continuing development of hybrid, fuel cell and hydrogen propulsion, as well as advanced petrol and diesel engines.

The government’s much-vaunted £250 million “electric car revolution”, announced last month, offers incentives for motorists to buy electric vehicles.

And London mayor Boris Johnson recently claimed that he wants to make his city the “electric car capital of Europe”.

But the IMechE report paints a different picture, claiming the electric project has been “talk so far with no formal strategy”, and funding for new projects falls “well short” of what is needed.

With the right support, the institution claims, CO2 emissions for vehicles will drop to 30g/km by 2050 — a figure it wants to replace the current target of 95g/km by 2020.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out