Your Let­ters

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Contents -

Re­gard­ing the de­press­ing pre­dic­tion by aca­demics that cars with in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines will be banned from the roads in the 2040s, I agree with your scep­ti­cism ( CCW, 26 July).

For a start, un­less the Gov­ern­ment dras­ti­cally changes its en­ergy pol­icy, by 2035 we will have shut down all our coal and gas-fired power sta­tions and be al­most en­tirely de­pen­dent on in­ter­mit­tent elec­tric­ity sources, such as wind and so­lar. Even with­out elec­tric ve­hi­cles, there­fore, we will most likely be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing power short­ages, so I can’t see the pub­lic rush­ing to buy elec­tric cars with no con­fi­dence that they can be charged up when needed. The Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed 2040 ban ap­plies only to new petrol and diesel cars. Those built up to 2039 will still be in use for an­other 15-20 years. It is also not clear whether the ban in­cludes hy­brids as well. Volvo’s re­cent de­ci­sion not to build petrol or diesel cars from 2019 does not in­clude hy­brids. In any case, I don’t see any rea­son to be­lieve that petrol and diesel cars will not still be in use in­def­i­nitely, even if no new ones are built. Af­ter all, a cen­tury af­ter the horse was sup­planted by the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine for trans­port pur­poses in first-world coun­tries, many peo­ple con­tinue to ride them for pleasure (in­clud­ing on pub­lic roads). Also, look at the en­thu­si­asm for rail­way steam en­gines. Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple turned out to watch Fly­ing Scots­man on its last tour of the coun­try. They don’t do the same for elec­tric trains!

The clas­sic car move­ment is getting big­ger all the time, and the 2016 sur­vey by the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs found that 34,900 peo­ple are em­ployed in the his­toric ve­hi­cle in­dus­try in the UK, and there are over one mil­lion his­toric ve­hi­cles regis­tered, val­ued at £17.8 bil­lion. Some £5.5bn is spent an­nu­ally on his­toric ve­hi­cle re­lated ac­tiv­ity and 23 mil­lion peo­ple see his­toric ve­hi­cles as an im­por­tant part of Bri­tain’s her­itage. Mo­tor rac­ing is also a ma­jor in­dus­try world­wide and some of the best at­tended races are those for his­toric cars. It would be a very brave or stupid politi­cian who sought to de­stroy all this. Mal­colm Heymer, Dere­ham, Nor­folk Well said, that man – Ed

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