Challenge in Finding a Suitable Domestic Vehicle ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Challenge in Finding a Suitable Domestic Vehicle

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Challenge in Finding a Suitable Domestic Vehicle

UK ministers are running into a serious problem. With the onset of government mandates on emissions, government employees are having a hard time figuring out what to drive.

The Sustainable Development Commission issued a critical report, finding that 2/3 of the the government departments were not on track to reducing the mandated 12.5 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2010/2011. Emissions from vehicles were 'an area of serious concern.'

In a meeting over how to deal with these sorts of issues, things apparently got heated. In order to meet the mandate, some feel they will all end up in Japanese cars (the Prius), and won't be able to drive traditional British vehicles. This would send a 'bad signal' to domestic manufacturers.

A similar issue occurred in the US, when House Speaker Pelosi had the Energy Bill, which would set the new CAFE standards of 35 mpg) sent over to the White House in a Toyota Prius. Some felt this was an insult to the domestic car companies.

The problem, of course, is no 'domestic' cars in the US are currently rated over 35 mpg.

The UK will move ahead to replace the cars used by ministers and senior civil servants with vehicles getting below 130g/km. Ministers requiring specially adapted vehicles for security and Lord Jones will be excepted from the new rules. Since Lord Jones is the trade promotion minister, he'll continue to drive his Jaguar.

As I said when I discussed the hubbub surround the Prius delivery of the Energy Bill, 'domestic' (in this case, UK) auto makers can either feel this type of flap is some sort of insult, or they can feel it is a challenge they need to face.

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