The end is nigh…

Motor Equipment News - - CONTENT - ED SPEAK

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…

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