Replace oil-based industry with one based on renewables, green tech and digitalisation

Start by banning Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars within 10 years.
Ban diesel cars within 1 year from city centres and areas near schools, nurseries and hospitals, completely in two years. Then all ICE cars city-wide in 5 years.
Complete the phasing out of all ICE cars, commercial transport and freight from inter-city and ex-urban traffic in a 10 year period.

Why the contribution is important

According to UNICEF, "more than 4.5 million children in the UK are growing up in areas with toxic levels of air pollution".
The World Health Organisation estimates that "more than 40 towns and cities in the UK are at or have exceeded air pollution limits...30 areas have fine-particle air pollution levels above 10 micrograms per cubic metre, with another 17 at that limit."
These include cities such as London, Manchester, Luton, Bristol,Glasgow and Swansea.
So, banning ICE cars by 2028 is not just possible but imperative if we are to protect the health and well-being of our population, young and old, working and retired from the effects of air polution.
Am I being naive? Well, no revolution, step change or paradigm shift ever occurred without some sort of drastic measure. That's why we need 'bold' (yes a word that is banded about so much these days), brave and steady leadership.
And what happens to all the investment, infrastructure and jobs in diesel and ICE tech?
Well, they can be retrained, switched, reused/converted in that order to ACE (Autonomous, Connected and Electric) technology.
But replacing ICE cars with EVs one for one is replacing one problem with another (albeit less polluting) and not really tackling the big picture as a whole.
The other elements of the 'big picture' solution in my view is ACE technology:
- Autonomous Vehicles (AVs),
- Connected-Shared ownership and
- Electric using a multimodal transport system, including mass electric transports (to reduce congestion/pollution), cycling and walking (made much safer by AVs) to create a truly sustainable transport system.
All good for us, society and the environment.
Ross Campbell from the Institute of Chartered Accountants commented recently "extra investment in infrastructure projects is needed to spearhead the UK's economic reboot in a post-Brexit landscape”. I believe this investment needs to be made in ACE and other green tech. The UK can be a world leader in sustainable tech.

Fortune favours the brave.

And the ACE initiative means not just motor and electric battery manufacture for the Automotive sector, but also for the Energy and Aviation industries. The ACE disruption also has massive wider application in AI, recharging network, town and infrastructure planning.
The possibilities are endless.

The ICE car destroyed the horse/carriage industry but it created entire new ones. The same paradigm applies.

Business like nature can adapt, find a way and flourish, unless of course there are vested interests that prevent it from doing so.
Once the charging infrastructure is developed and the cultural step change has occurred can government legislation, subsidies be relaxed or removed but within a much more sustainable baseline.
Otherwise, we'll still be discussing improving ICE tech and cleaning up the air that we breathe in 2040!

by GusB on June 22, 2018 at 03:49PM

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  • Posted by JuliaDftGovUK June 29, 2018 at 14:41

    Hi Gus, thanks very much for your thoughts. Government will shortly be publishing a Road to Zero Strategy setting out its support in the transition to zero emission road transport. We will also be launching a Future of Mobility call for evidence to gather views and evidence relating to the broader transformations occurring across the mobility sector. This will include the ACE shifts you refer to.
    Please look out for the call for evidence and submit your thoughts!
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