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Mel Gibson and Jason Statham will not approve, but whether you’re Mad Max, or really just a fast and furious Transporter, the demise of the internal combustion engine has been signalled by the UK Government. You may not yet have had time to work out how to cope with the changes but, you’re not alone as Downing Street hasn’t announced just exactly where we will stand in 2040.
It might seem a long time in the future but it really is going to creep up on us, silently, just like the traffic at the beginning of the fifth decade of this century.
As disruptive legislation goes, the instigation of a total ban on the sale of oil driven cars by 2040 came as something of a huge surprise at the end of last month. The implications drive far beyond the mere choice of fleet for the next cycle of your business. So before heading for the dealership, pull over and head into Springfords for a taxation test drive.
The impetus for change is not commercially driven, this is an environmental issue. Reducing emissions, especially from the all pervading motor-vehicle, will make an impact on the Nation’s carbon footprint. Even more importantly it will improve quality of life, especially in urban areas. This initiative alone will not solve congestion, nor make logistics any easier. There will still be as many vehicles on the road, unless there is also a radical change to the way we own and drive cars. How society en masse might be persuaded to share the private space of the car is a whole other matter for those not so far off and not necessarily so utopian days of the zero emissions economy.
The question of what happens to the vast tax revenues taken from oil derived fuels is nowhere near being resolved. Perhaps, that is why the government has given itself over two decades to work out what to do. Whatever technological advances come along, such as hydrogen fuel cells, there is still going to be a huge increase in electricity demand. How that might be met is open to conjecture, but almost certainly the days of the huge fossil fuelled power station are over. Local generation and distributed power networks will be the more likely norm. What that means for grants and feed-in tariffs isn’t known, but significant change is most certainly on the cards.
One thing is certain though, those free charging points outside supermarkets and public buildings are going to become hugely more popular. They certainly can’t get any cheaper. Springfords own charging point of course will not be changing. You can still recharge your hybrid electric vehicle right outside our front door when you visit, to discuss any tax and accounting matters arising, including running costs and benefits in kind obligations for operating an electric fleet.
The shift in general away from fossil fuels may encourage us all to radically rethink the way we do business. Better public transport, better ways of remote working, and more opportunities for local services, may mean that come 2040 there will be fewer reasons to jump in the car, no matter how it’s powered, and more of what we need will be available on our doorstep, either physically or digitally. The pace of life will be even faster and more furious, well it’s likely we’ll all be a little less road warrior and a whole lot more eco-friendly. As 73-year-old Jason Statham may well be saying, in 2040’s Summer blockbuster, Transporter 23: Hybrid to Hell, “if it’s good for business, and it’s good for you, then it’s good for me too. So, are we doing this?” We think, Jason, old man, the answer is yes.