Some Of Britain’s Best Loved Cars Could Disappear

Mon 13th Jan 2020

The European Union’s strict new laws on emissions could see motoring bosses decide to pull some of their most popular models according to industry experts.

Car manufacturers face heavy fines if they cannot meet targets aimed at keeping carbon dioxide levels below 95g a kilometre under new rules which are being introduced across the EU, including the UK.

Manufacturers selling cars in the UK currently avoid the fines, even though the country favours gas-guzzling SUVs, mainly because other countries prefer smaller, less polluting cars. But the new rules will get rid of this imbalance and that could make it harder to sell certain models in the UK according Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

“[Carmakers] will have to look at their model mix … you’ve got to see whether that’s economic. The fines are going to be severe and all of them will do everything they can to avoid that,” Hawes said

“It could be that you see a reduction in consumer choice through the removal of higher-emitting vehicles from not just the top end, but particular segments.”

Despite heavily funded government campaigns and low-emisson zones in London, emissions from cars sold in Britain rose for the third consecutive year. The new EU law will see manufacturers pay £83 for every gram they are over their limit, a figure which is made higher by multiplying the number of cars they sell in that year.

Some green campaigners are suggesting that the strict new rules could force Britain’s drivers to go greener earlier due to the lack of choice.

Speaking to The Guardian Mel Evans, a climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “Carmakers are not obliged to aggressively market heavy, polluting cars. They know that we are in a climate emergency and yet keep accelerating towards the cliff edge, because bigger, dirtier cars have higher profit margins. And because they use more petrol and diesel, the oil companies cash in as well.

“To address the climate crisis, manufacturers need to U-turn on petrol and diesel, stop spending millions drumming up demand for their dirtiest cars, and focus on electric vehicles for a post-oil world.”