EDITORIAL New year, new wheels... Welcome to the February issue of Lube 2019.

So, how did your new year begin? I decided to treat myself to a new car! Not that I was unhappy with my trusted VW Up; it had served me very well for four years, but with the service warranty now past its shelf life, it made sense to consider an upgrade.

My visit to the dealership was interesting. I expected the sales team to be extolling the virtues of hybrids and eVehicles but in reality it was life pretty much as normal. In any case, I had mentally ‘parked’ the idea of an ‘e’ or hybrid car (for now at least). Given the high cost implications and the embryonic infrastructure support that currently exists, I was not convinced that the time was right; and it turns out I’m not alone.

Consumers globally (with the possible exception of Norway and China), have yet to fully embrace this new technology, which is worrying considering the ambitious CO2

emissions targets that the EU has

committed to – a reduction from cars by 37.5% in the next decade, part of its push to reduce greenhouse gases by 40% overall by 2030.

So what exactly are Norway and China doing that the rest of the world is not? For Norway, a government driven ‘green tax’ offers consumers generous incentives and perks: no import tax or VAT on plug-in cars, lower running costs (electricity is cheaper than petrol and diesel) and reduced road tax. Not to mention no ferry fees, road tolls or city emissions charges (non e-drivers must continue to pay these). Along with an abundance of free plug-in ports to

Perhaps the UK government has been somewhat distracted of late (!!) but it’s clear that for EU governments to achieve their ambitious emissions cuts by 2030, serious (unpopular) policy decisions will have to be taken. But without engaging citizens, communities, manufacturers, investors, industry leaders on the journey, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride...

Until next time!

Andrianne Philippou

charge your car, there is also free parking and bypass traffic lanes to encourage further uptake. It’s clearly working. And whilst some of these incentives may spike over time, the outcome today is that Norway is the world leader in eVehicle sales with almost a third of all new cars purchased in 2017 being plug-ins.

Meanwhile, China is implementing strict policies to control the production capacity of companies making conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE), whilst at the same time, raising the requirements for any new manufacturers of ‘new energy vehicles’, either hybrids of battery power cars, to sell at least 30,000 e-cars or reach sales targets of $437million over a 2-year period. All before they qualify for certain government supports, simultaneously promoting eVehicle sales whilst preventing over capacity of eVehicle manufacturing.


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