DfT consultation with concerns over petrol & diesel availability after 2035

The survey was announced on 20th February 2020 on the GOV.UK website by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

See our NEWS item 200204

Little heard of the consultation
News of the consultation and how to respond has not seen much publicity, although it has been a brief news item in Classic Car Weekly for the last two weeks, so if you feel you want to participate doing so promptly will be necessary.

Time to respond to the survey is short
The public consulatation document says "we welcome the submission of the public’s views as part of this consultation, these should be sent to: communications@olev.gov.uk

or by post to:
Consultation Response
Office for Low Emission Vehicles
Zones 3/29-33
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR

Responses need to be made as soon as possible but no later than end of Friday 29 May 2020".

Posted: 200301

The consultation seeks views on:
> the phase out date.
> the definition of what should be phased out
> barriers to achieving the above proposals
> the impact of these ambitions on different sectors of industry and society
> what measures are required by government and others to achieve the earlier phase out date.
The Prime Minister announced on 4th February 2020 that the UK Government is seeking views on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible. An open consultation was published on 20th February 2020 on the GOV.UK website by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). GOV.UK

Inclusion of hybrids was a surprise
The inclusion of hybrids for the first time was seen by many as a surprise, particularly those buying hybrids. They tend to see hybrids as a useful transition from fossil fuel to "all electric" whilst retaining the freedom to "stop-fill-go" at filling stations and avoiding the "plan ahead for charging points" constraint which many drivers find a daunting behaviour change.

Continuing use of fossil fuel cars
The proposals relate to new cars and vans - owners of existing petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans will still be able to use these vehicles and buy and sell them on the used market. Access to some areas, from the imposition of low emission zones mainly in urban areas, could constrain the use of fossil fuel vehicles then and in subsequent years.

Consequences of the end of new fossil fuel cars
A key issue for drivers wishing to continue to use a fossil fuelled car after a 2035 deadline will inevitably be the continuing availability and cost of motor fuels. If the transition to non fossil fuel cars is successful then post 2035 the number of fossil fuel cars on the roads will fall as they reach the stage when they are scrapped. With a reducing number of fossil fuel cars still running the demand for fuel from filling stations will decline and the economics of continuing to have fuel pumps there will inevitably lead to rising motor fuel costs and many forecourts ceasing to have fuel pumps enabling drivers to fill up.

Prospects for classic car enthusiasts
With the likelihood of reducing availability of fuel pumps on forecourts and rising fuel costs after 2035/2040, there will be concerns for classic car owners. Whether representative bodies like the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) will be successful in maintaining classic car access to public roads as the remaining stock of fossil fuel cars reduces - say by 2050 and beyond - will be be crucial to the continuation of the enjoyment of classic cars. Failing that continuation will the prospect be one of classics being stored in museums?