Monday, February 04, 2008

EU Should Ban Inefficient Cars

Ahhh. It's music to our ears. The sweet sound of common sense from a businessman. Finally.

Today, BBC news reported the ex-Chairman of Shell felt the EU really ought to ban inefficient cars (cars that get below 35 miles per gallon), and he believes industry will follow stricter environmental guidelines.

"Nobody needs a car that does 10-15 mpg (miles per gallon, 19-28 litres per 100 kilometres)," Mark Moody-Stuart was quoted as saying.

According to Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, "We need very tough regulation saying that you can't drive or build something less than a certain standard. You would be allowed to drive an Aston Martin - but only if it did 50-60mpg."

He continues, "When we eliminated coal fires in London we didn't say to people in Chelsea you can pay a bit more and toast your crumpets in front of an open fire - we said nobody, but nobody, could have an open fire.

"When we introduced catalytic converters the car-makers said it would put the price of cars through the roof - but it didn't. Now we all have to have catalytic converters - that's only right."

"Government's job is to set the framework in which industry can compete," he added. "The market is a magical thing - it will meet people's convenience but it needs guiding."

He said the EU was far too lax with motor manufacturers.

Sir Mark sums it up in his BBC Green Room opinion piece: "You can buy the roomiest, vroomiest car, as long as it meets the efficiency standard."

"My wife and I have driven a hybrid since 2001 and it is a beautiful and comfortable piece of engineering, silent and will do 100mph (we tried it, but not in England!)."

"That may not be the best technology - the market will find out. But we must constrain the market in an efficiency framework."

"To achieve the same through taxation would mean fuel taxes at levels which would play havoc with industry, countryside dwellers and the poor who need transport."

Now - it takes 2 to dance. Will the ministers listen?