Paul Smith
Traka Automotive Managing Director Paul Smith
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A WEEK has gone by since the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) came into effect.

The new, tougher emission standards demand that non-compliant cars, vans and motorcycles will have to pay an additional £12.50 daily, while coaches and lorries will pay £100 per day.  

Here are 6 reasons why fossil-fuel powered vehicle sales will drop, and alternative fuel vehicles sales supplant them over the next 10-15 years.

  1. ICEs being taxed out of our Cities: Conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are being doggedly taxed and regulated off many of our streets and city centres. 
  1. Dieselgate – Diesel VED hikes and New Euro 6/RDE2 emission standards forcing us out of diesel vehicles: The Chancellor has already been doing his best to hammer diesel vehicle buyers in successive budgets. The Autumn 2017 Budget saw new diesel cars going up a Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) band if they cannot meet stringent new Euro 6 emission standard in Real Driving Conditions (RDE) enforced from April 2018.


  1. Wider fossil fuel-burning reduction targets: Nearly all governments are now setting targets for transition to electric engines with a view to eliminating vehicular fossil-fuel emissions. Copenhagen, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan and Seattle have already committed to only using zero emissions transit buses in city centres by 2025 as we edge towards an outright ban (already signed-up to by some countries, including the UK) by 2040.


  1. Fleets already moving towards Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Such is the demonisation of diesel in the last two years by central and local government alike, that it’s not surprising that in a survey of 1,000 large firms with vehicle fleets conducted by RAC Business, 62% of respondents were already considering phasing-out diesel vehicles. The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has already gone public on its plans to migrate its 4,000 petrol- and diesel-powered vehicle fleet to petrol-hybrid and Battery-powered Electric Vehicles (BEVs). It reckons this will be completed before the end of 2024.


  1. City dwellers early adopting BEVs: The BEV’s average range of around 100 miles (from a fully-charged battery) will be little impediment for urban car drivers who will see palpable benefits in terms of cleaner air and do not travel significant distances within the city they live and work in anyway. Urbanisation (the 5th KPMG MegaTrend) favours BEVs over alternatives like hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) in ever larger cities where journeys are shorter and the potential for charging up via converted lamp posts, using under-street power infrastructure, is better.


  1. Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles can cover longer distances: FCEVs should prove increasingly attractive as they offer rapid refuelling and much longer distances to empty equivalent to ICE cars today. The KPMG Global Automotive Summary 2018 predicts that FCEVs could win 25% of the car market by 2040 – that’s on a par with other drivetrain options including ICE, BEV and Hybrids. KPMG also argues that 4 of its 5 ‘MegaTrends’ which will impact the automotive sales space over the next two decades favour FCEV over BEVs. These are: legislated electrification/zero emission targeting; autonomous driving; automotive connectivity and shared mobility/mobility as a service.


Further favouring FCEVs is the fact that in March 2018 a consortium that includes ITM Power, Shell, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai won £8.8m in funding from the Department for Transport to improve access to an expanded network of hydrogen refuelling stations to support the continued roll-out of FCEVs in the UK.



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