The end is nigh…
Well, it’s starting to happen. Just as climate change is real, so are government decisions to end the era of cars powered by the internal combustion engine (ICE), ending a history that (so far) spans 132 years..
Recently Volvo announced it would introduce electrification into every model it produces from 2019, although initially at least, there will be either petrol or diesel engines in hybrid or plug-in hybrid models
More important though, as this will probably have a huge knock-on effect, is that the French government plans to outlaw sales of vehicles with ICE from 2040, a move designed to meet France’s emissions targets.
This move is interesting in that the recent takeover of Opel by PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) will create the secondlargest motor company in Europe, and one probably keen to comply with its government’s laws.
At the same time the Netherlands is considering a move to cut sales of ICE-powered vehicles, although its initial target of 2025 has been deemed unrealistic. And the mayor of Paris has already introduced a sixtier ban of older models from entering the city, while pushing for all diesel vehicles to be prohibited in the French capital by 2025. What does this mean for New Zealand?
It’s clear our government, and opposition parties, particularly the Greens, want electric powered vehicles to take over here, although there will naturally be logistical problems in more out-of-the-way areas, as well as in off-road conditions – the thought of an electric vehicle fording a deep river boggles my mind!
There is also the all-important factor of cost. Although electric vehicles are cheaper to run than ICE equivalents, they cost a lot more to buy in the first place.
However, economies of scale will no doubt bring the purchase prices down, and when they’re on a par with ICE-powered vehicles, the takeover will be complete.
So what do you do with that classic V8 you polish every Sunday? My guess is that there will be exemptions for true classics, although petrol might not be freely available.
And it wouldn’t be stupid to keep a few ICE vehicles around, particularly first responders, just in case the electricity grid goes down…