Not that they aim to give us much choice of course but this will still cause a drastic loss of population mobility.
The problem being that electric cars are – just about and vaguely – price competitive with petrol drive right now. But 80% of the cost of actually driving a petrol car – OK, of the petrol for driving a petrol car – is tax. Our Lords and Masters really don’t want to give up that £40 billion that they currently get to spend. So, the idea is that we must pay the higher, innate costs of electric cars and also the £40 billion tax on top again:
A pay-per-mile road-pricing system must be introduced by the end of the decade because the switch to electric cars risks leaving a £40 billion hole in the public finances every year, MPs have been told.
Research to be submitted to the cross-party transport committee today said that charges based on emissions, vehicle weight and traffic levels should replace road taxes by 2030.
Pay per mile makes great sense. The Adam Smith Institute has been campaigning for it for a couple of decades now. But it makes great sense in that equal across all vehicles sense.
Which isn’t, we can tell, what they’re going to do, is it? The insistence will be that we must retain the current system of petrol taxation and then also have, on top, the system of pay per mile. Because only that way will it be possible to both tax the electric miles and also maintain the illusion that electric and petrol are of the same price range.
If we were to do this properly – pay per mile and pay per mile only – then running a £400 banger for a few decades would be the correct fiscal answer to transport desires. Which isn’t what anyone intends to allow us in the slightest. For petrol would be 15 pence a litre and who in buggery would bother with a ‘leccie car at that price?
At which point a top tip for a future business idea. There’s going to be some fun at the intersection of 3 D printed parts and those old bangers. Printing things in metal is now possible. There will be parts where greater strength is required and so perhaps parts need to be made on a CNC lathe – that’s an engineering question beyond me. But if the temptation to keep running those bangers is there then there’s going to be a hell of a market for bits to keep them going.
So, something like a Haynes manual. Heck, Haynes could do it. The database of every car part known to man along with printer or lathe instructions. £2 for each instruction set. Say, just as a download price. £30 a month for unlimited access. Distributed car parts manufacturing, why not?