What will happen to the independent automotive traders & what strategies/financial support have government put in place to support those who could have their livelihoods destroyed?
Written by Katy Mason 05.11.18
With the government announcing recently that they want to ban all diesel and petrol vehicles from British roads by 2032, the motor vehicle industries are now tasked with creating an industry strategy to meet these expectations.
However, with R&D subsidies being put in place for the major manufacturers to enable the zero emissions target to be met, there is one area of our economy which I feel has been massively overlooked; the independent motor vehicle sales, service & repair sector.
There are hundreds if not thousands of independent companies across the UK who sell, service or repair petrol and diesel vehicles. Daniel Morris of mono motorcycles is one of them.
After 10 years of working PAYE for the Automobile Association, he finally took the plunge in April 2017 to start his own motorcycle service & repair business. Like so many independent business owners, the plan has always been to build the business up & use it as a retirement fund.
With these sweeping statements coming from government, I have one very poignant question to ask: What contingencies & financial support will be put in place if a full petrol & diesel ban comes into force in 14 years time for the independent & sole traders? & how will government ensure these peoples pension nest-eggs are compensated for?
The irony I find is that there are many conflicting messages coming from government level & the responses in automotive manufacture are clear. Dyson are to build their first EV in Singapore, taking the manufacturing financial generation away from the UK economy. Jaguar have suspended production of their diesel vehicles & have some employees on a 3-day week until after Christmas, as uncertainty surrounding the future of fossil fuel vehicles grows.
Although I appreciate that global Co2 emissions, fossil fuels, methane emissions, etc are wholly responsible for the damage to the environment & we globally have a net zero emissions target of 2050; with modern e-fuels, biofuels, recycled diesel fuels, zero emissions diesel & many many more; we can, as has been proven by the Concawe report (1), still reach zero net emissions by 2050.
‘The three 2050 scenarios considered were: a mass roll-out of battery electric vehicles (EVs), representing a fully electrified market by 2040 and 90 percent of the EU parc a decade later; a focus instead on the development of low carbon fuels, including both biofuels and artificially synthesized eFuels, alongside some electrification, and a third scenario representing greater use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) together with increased use of bio- and eFuels.’ (2)
This means that instead of scare mongering & threatening to wipe out an entire section of our industry & economy (automotive/motorcycle sales, service & repair) shouldn’t we be considering the impact a sweeping ban on petrol & diesel vehicles could have on hundreds of thousands of jobs & businesses? & what financial support strategies would need to be in place to cope with the hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers? Food for thought.
Next time you see an advert for an EV or EM (electric motorcycle) consider the other options, read around the subject, do not rely on the mainstream media for your answers & make your own informed decisions.
However, above all, continue to support your local independent automotive/motorcycle sales, service & repair establishments, because just like you, they work every day to pay their bills & live a life.
Written by Katy Mason 05.11.18