Cambria Automobiles says thousands of jobs will be lost unless the government takes a more balanced approach over the impending ban on selling new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans.
The ban could be introduced as early as 2032, and Mark Lavery, CEO of the franchised motor retailer, said electric vehicles certainly had a role to play in cutting transport’s impact on the environment but they shouldn’t be seen as the only remedy.
In his response to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ consultation over the proposed ban, he said: ‘Instead, hybrid vehicles, clean hydrogen and synthetic-based fuel technologies must all feature in a balanced transition to replacing pure diesel and petrol internal combustion engines.
‘A balanced approach will protect planet Earth and protect British jobs and prosperity derived from the automotive industry.’
Lavery, pictured, added that ‘the political rhetoric to focus on pure electric as the only environmentally sound solution is simply wrong. We need to allow innovation and accelerated evolution of environmentally sound technologies to ensure that the best solutions are reached’.
Ex-Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who is the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, visited Grange Jaguar Land Rover at Woodford to hear Cambria’s concerns about the ban and meet with Lavery as well as Grange Woodford head of business Paul Greenberg.
Part of Cambria’s response to the consultation has been to voice its concerns over the potential environmental, social and economic consequences rising from a shift to pure EVs.
It said they included the use of cobalt, which is a key component in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, being mined unethically in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the CO2 emissions embedded in every electric vehicle associated with the carbon-intensive nature of battery production in China, plus the impact on the National Grid of a ‘significant’ rise in the use of EVs and whether or not it could cope.
Lavery added: ‘The industry is fully embracing the government’s Road to Zero plan, but we need a balanced approach from politicians to include hybrid, synthetic fuel, hydrogen as well as pure-electric propulsion systems.
‘Any move to pure electric will encourage the completely wrong behaviours, particularly when you take into account the amount of cobalt and lithium in a battery-electric vehicle.’
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