Former captain of oil industry says all cars should do 35mpg
4 February 2008

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, a man who spent his life working for oil giant Shell, has called for an EU-enforced ban on all new cars that return less than 35 miles-per-gallon.His unlikely-seeming opinion hit the headlines yesterday, appearing in a BBC News online column in which Moody-Stuart also urged the European establishment to crack down harder on the biggest carbon-emitters in industry, and to enforce tougher efficiency standards on the building and construction industry.Moody-Stuart, now chairman of the Anglo American mining outfit, said we must “ban gas-guzzlers and steadily increase the total efficiency of any vehicle sold.” Consumers should still be allowed to “buy the roomiest, vroomiest car,” he wrote, “as long as it meets the efficiency standard.”Expanding on his blog, Moody-Stuart said “we need very tough regulation saying that you can’t drive or build something less than a certain standard. You would be allowed to drive as Aston Martin – but only if it did 50-60mpg.”“Nobody needs a car that does 10-15mpg,” he went on.

Angry reaction

Moody-Stuart’s comments have been met with anger from various quarters of the motor industry and from motoring bodies who suggest they would limit freedom of choice for car-buyers. It's even been suggested that Moody-Stuart is declaring an opinion he would never dreamed of expressing while at the helm of the Shell Group, and betraying the drivers of sports cars and luxury cars that, as one angry motorist put it, "have been paying his wages for most of his working life."Spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Nigel Wonnacott said that drivers of bigger polluting cars already pay enough through carbon-based VED road tax and petrol duty. In response, Moody-Stuart pointed out that the rich shouldn’t be allowed to escape their responsibility to tackle climate change.Moody-Stuart’s call comes as the European Commission in Brussels continues to draft and debate regulations to limit average carbon emissions from new cars to 130g/km by 2012. The draft laws have been tempered since their official proposal last year; an allowance for vehicle weight has been added, which allows heavier cars to emit more CO2 than lighter ones. The finished laws are unlikely to be based on fuel economy, or to be as simplistic as Moody-Stuart suggests. According to Brussels regulators, they will not penalise individual car-makers but rather the car industry as a whole. Even so, they remain a source of much consternation within the European car-making community.The proposals are expected to become EU law, provided they pass a commission vote, later this year.

Join the debate

Comments
18

4 February 2008

Some would say a smidge hypocritical considering his background and easy to say now he's retired with a HUGE final salary pension scheme etc etc (allegedly)...

BUT

IMO He's right....Personally I want more for my £1.07 per litre.

You have to feel a bit sorry for the car manufacturers though. They've given us what we supposedly want with the current ranges of super safe 5 star EuroNCAP cars and all the added weight that seems to be their solution. Now the EU want better economy which means they've got to lose those kg whilst keeping all the safety bells and whistles..

4 February 2008

[quote one_eye_jim] You have to feel a bit sorry for the car manufacturers though. They've given us what we supposedly want with the current ranges of super safe 5 star EuroNCAP cars and all the added weight that seems to be their solution. Now the EU want better economy which means they've got to lose those kg whilst keeping all the safety bells and whistles..[/quote]

Why?

Neccesity is the mother of invention.

TUK

4 February 2008

Quote ... "You would be allowed to drive as Aston Martin – but only if it did 50-60mpg.”

It's not the inefficiency of the car per se that's the problem, it's the inefficient USE that some owners make of their cars. An Aston Martin that does 15 mpg but only travels 1000 miles per year consumes less resources and emits less CO2 than an average family sized car or executive car that travels anywhere between 15,000 to 30,000 miles per year.

If vehicle owners had a carbon allowance (which is some product of distance and specific CO2 output), then you can choose any car you want, but in so doing you may restrict the amount of miles you are able to do. This would force high mileage drivers to downsize to smaller more fuel efficient vehcles, and not penalise those people who choose to buy a larger or more powerful vehicle and do a low mileage. The system would be fair to the majority of motorists who purchase smallish vehicles and do average mileages.

The present system of fuel duty and road fund licensing is a mockery because it allows more affluent people to simply buy their way out of any environmental responsibility. If they had a carbon allowance, which could NOT be traded, they would have to think twice about the type of car they had to use. Once you use your allowance that's it. Enforcement would be quite simple - check mileage once per year when the vehicle has to be taxed or tested.

4 February 2008

European car makers have largely stomped all over the environmental guidelines they agreed with the EU some years ago, mainly because they wanted to satisfy the supposedly huge demand which exists for V16, 1000bhp estate cars or somesuch folly.

They deserve whatever the legislators throw at them.

PS On a sidenote, as an Autocar reader of more than 20 years, it is interesting to note the gap between the magazine's traditional pro-petrolhead editorial stance, and the comments here which all pretty much support what the Shell guy is saying, at least in principle.

cos

4 February 2008

[quote one_eye_jim]

Some would say a smidge hypocritical considering his background and easy to say now he's retired with a HUGE final salary pension scheme etc etc (allegedly)...

BUT

IMO He's right....Personally I want more for my £1.07 per litre.

You have to feel a bit sorry for the car manufacturers though. They've given us what we supposedly want with the current ranges of super safe 5 star EuroNCAP cars and all the added weight that seems to be their solution. Now the EU want better economy which means they've got to lose those kg whilst keeping all the safety bells and whistles..

[/quote]

4 February 2008

I notice your man hadn't grown enough backbone at Shell to voice these comments then. I guess what he's saying has validity but its galling from a man who's spent the bulk of his career adding to the problem. Perhaps he's willing to contribute his retirement package to some environmental good cause, leaving himself a modest amount to live on - say enough to run a 35mpg car...

I see la la Ken has announced his latest congestion (volume of traffic) charge. which seems to be dealing with an environmental emissions issue (polluting trucks/cars). That makes sense then.

cos

4 February 2008

I parcially agree with the the ex shell boss about the fuel consumption . the only manufacturers who will suffer are the germans ( BMW, AUDI, MERC ) with big 4x4 and large 5 to 7 litres engines The rest of the europe manufacturers make small cars.

Who need a 51/2 litre AUDI or a 7 litre MERC you can use it in europe , any way the roads are to crowded , as for 4x4 should be banned , if more than 2 litre engine ,after all

land rover survived all these years with a small engine.

4 February 2008

People living on glass houses should not throw stones and all that. What a bunch of hypocytical bulls**t.

I am sorry if this offends but this has really irritated me. How efficient is his mining operation and is it coal?

Outrageous that somone that was in the position he was in to make comments seing as the motorist paid his wages and pension over the years.

Who would pay for not being allowed a car that does under 35mpg - the motorist - it beggars belief that someone can be so short sighted. Yes we need more fuel effeciancy but a blanket ban would cripple the economy in much the same way as that Communist in London is going to cripple the haulage industry with his new environmental tax - it is akin to the highwaymen of old.

Rant over, sorry.

TUK

4 February 2008

[quote cos]Who needs a 51/2 litre AUDI or a 7 litre MERC you can use it in europe , any way the roads are to crowded , as for 4x4 should be banned , if more than 2 litre engine ,after all [/quote]

Why shouldn't you drive one of these cars if you want to so long as you do drive such a vehicle responsibly? We should allow freedom of choice, but not necessarily complete freedom of use of such vehicles.

The problem is that all the emphasis is aimed at legislating against the manufacturers and not the end user. The fiscal measures that are in place to stop owners polluting with their cars do not affect the kind of person that can afford a 5 1/2 litre car in the first place. As if a £300/year tax and an extra £1000 or so increase in fuel is going to make a difference to these people. So put a physical limit such as mileage whereby the cars can only be used so much in any one year. Once someone realises they can't drive their 5 1/2 litre monster more than 3000 miles a year, sales will decline or the market will demand more efficient "performance" or "luxury" cars, and the manufacturers will respond accordingly.

4 February 2008

[quote TUK]If vehicle owners had a carbon allowance (which is some product of distance and specific CO2 output), then you can choose any car you want, but in so doing you may restrict the amount of miles you are able to do. This would force high mileage drivers to downsize to smaller more fuel efficient vehcles, and not penalise those people who choose to buy a larger or more powerful vehicle and do a low mileage. The system would be fair to the majority of motorists who purchase smallish vehicles and do average mileages.[/quote]

This makes good sense. It would allow people to have a small, efficient car for mundane day-to-day driving (commuting, sitting in traffic jams, going to the shops etc), and a powerful, exciting car for weekend blasts, trackdays, club-level motorsport etc etc without the massive cost-per-mile that doing so looks like it will soon entail.

What, though, are the chances of government ever implementing something so sensible and fair?

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK