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Drivers need incentives while technology speeds up – Dr Stuart Coles

Dr Stuart Coles is an Assistant Professor in the Materials and Manufacturing theme group of WMG. His main research interests are based around sustainability and the substitution of natural materials into industrial products.

Commenting on the Automobile Association (AA) recently joining green groups in warning that changes in energy policy will harm the climate he said:

“Incentives are needed on low-emission vehicles to keep them attractive to consumers whilst technology catches up and battery-powered cars are able to compete in terms of function with conventional vehicles.


“In his Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the nil vehicle excise duty (VED) band for clean petrol cars would be restricted in future to electric vehicles. This removes a tax break for clean petrol cars and hybrids, which will from 2017, attract the same VED as gas guzzlers.

“The Government’s policy on VED is damaging to the environment as effective low carbon options, such as plug-in hybrids, will now fall into the same tax band as many other higher emission vehicles. Whilst clean electric vehicles are available, they are not currently able to travel much farther than 100-120 miles (the maximum for the Nissan Leaf is 124 miles with perfect conditions) and are therefore not a viable option on many journeys.”