Philip Hammond: "Buy electric"

Fuel prices
13 Oct, 2011 1:12pm Julie Sinclair

Soaring fuel prices met with shrugged shoulders from former Transport Secretary, who tells cash-strapped motorists to buy electric instead

If you can’t stand soaring fuel prices – buy an electric car! That was the stark message from former Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, after Auto Express quizzed him on his plans to reduce pump prices.

Hammond, who had been speaking at the launch of POLAR, a privately funded network of electric charge points run by Chargemaster, had just told guests: “You can’t force people out of their cars or place drivers on the naughty step, as our predecessors did.”

But when Auto Express suggested prohibitive fuel prices appeared to be doing exactly that, he shirked responsibility and instead blamed oil suppliers: “The increase in fuel prices is a function of global oil prices, it’s not driven by policy.”

Motorists currently pay 80 pence in tax for every litre of petrol they buy, according to the AA, meaning almost 60 per cent of your fuel bill goes straight to the Treasury.

When Auto Express asked Hammond what the Government intended to do to help reduce fuel prices, he suggested that motorists switch to electric cars. “People should look to new technologies. Electric cars are very cheap to run and allow motorists to drive guilt free.”

He admitted electric cars were currently expensive to buy – the Nissan Leaf costs £25,000 even after the Government’s £5,000 grant - but added: “Production costs will come down, and then you won’t have the high cost of fuel attached either.” 

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These politicians forget where the electricity comes from, fossil fuels in most cases!! Plus its all well saying electric cars will come down in price but the problem is now not in a year or so. Also the price of oil has come down recently yet the price of fuel hasnt???
And this isnt a sneaky pressure by the government to make us buy electric cars, price out petrol and diesel cars??? Anyone seen the MOT rule change as well?????????

A Marie-Antoinette for his time!

Hammond is in a parallel universe if he thinks he can push electric cars on us - 3 days from London to the West Country each way with an overnight charge every 60 miles or so!
Obviously Osborne's calculator had problems when they came into power if the tax on fuel 18 months ago was OK, but now they can't take 20p a litre off to give the motorist a break - and put more money into the economy as a result.

£20k to replace battery packs doesn't add up to cheap running.

i.e. lacking understanding, common sense and basic intelligence.

If you can't afford diesel or petrol, buy a brand new 'white elephant' for 25 grand that won't take you as far as you want to go before it needs recharging, still kills the planet as the electricity has to be produced from somewhere, then spend another fortune when the batteries pack up earlier than expected.

I suppose we could pay through the nose to use unreliable, expensive, inconvenient and unsafe public transport instead.

I don't know what we're all complaining about. Lets give the politicians another payrise for their efforts in trying to resolve all these tiring issues - oh no, they vote for that themselves despite their abysmal failure to do anything but line their own pockets.

Hammond is an idiot, it would only put the economy in to further ruin if everyone was to buy an electric car tommorow.

electric cars are very useful for city driving and in fact will meet a majority of drivers needs. the range issue is massively overplayed. however at the moment there arent many choices really except a leaf and the charging network is not in place yet.

in the short term plug in hybrids or range extenders are abetter bet or there is a wide range of very efficient diesels available.

remember that this tax is avoidable to a degree - if you cant afford a more efficient car you can drive more economically or drive less and shock horror walk or use dreaded public transport !

if the govt reduced the tax they take on fuel they would either make it up by raising other taxes or make even more cutbacks.

finally, electricity generation is slowly becoming less dependent on fossil fuels. also it is more efficient and less polluting to have large powerplants then individually fuelled cars even if the stations use gas or coal. finally remember that you have to add about 25 g/km of co2 to get the equivalent wheel to well co2 of diesel engined cars and i believe 23 g/km co2 for petrol cars.

Does the transport secretary live in the same world as the rest of us...
The answer is to reduce fuel duty to allow the transport network to start to run effectively and bring down the cost of everything it transports.....
Electric Vehicles will just make things even worse....... where will all the extra electric power come for all the so called ev car sales??

"motorists to drive guilt free.” what a load of crap, I cannot beleave they are trying to make us feel guilty for driving around in our vehicles! Ffs, what a desperate and pathetic way to try and make people buy in to electris vehicles.

With 7 out of 10 British Nuclear Power stations being decommissioned in the next 7 years we won't have enough power to supply British homes as we all will face regular blackouts. Where will the electric power come from to power Hammond's electric car dream?

Both Labour and the Tory's have both shirked building new Nuclear Power stations as they are a big vote loser with a big NIMBY syndrome attached and they cost a fortune to build.

It takes 10 years to build a new Nuclear Power station from conception to supply the first bit of electric power. We have no new Nuclear Power stations planned for the future, its only now the Tory's are waking up to the hard facts that we need them.

Electric Cars will force on us more Nuclear Power stations that may give us the next Chernobyl or Japanese type disaster which will be good for the environment no doubt.

If everyone started to drive electric, the government would lose billions in taxation from the drivers. What happens next? Increased road tax and higher tax on electricity used to charge cars - so we end up back where we were with the huge bill for replacing batteries.

Can't say I'm gutted about him being put in charge of Defence. So far his view of the Transport Dept was, "more cars travelling faster equals more tax and lowering of the deficit." As for, "if you can't afford to run a car, change to electric", we're not all politicians on expenses, so we can't afford to spend £30k to save on petrol or diesel price increases. I've found a novel way to save money on fuel......"Drive Sensibly!" and buy your fuel as cheaply as you can.

Forgetting the fact that the Electric has to be generated somehow, the other thing we are not supposed to talk about is the basic construction of these vehicles and the batteries that run them. Can anybody honestly say EV's are good for the environment once they have looked up where the minerals for the batteries come from (with the associated conditions of the people there!) and the fact that the components, batteries etc are shipped round the world before being put on the supposed "green" car!

Now Hammond's moved sideways, the next British front line tank, probably called something starting with C, the Cameron perhaps, will now be full of lithium cells. Anyway, all you moaning petrol heads, a couple of years and you'll be able to get a second hand Ampera, Volt, Tesla... for the price of a couple of AA batteries. Anyone called their car the Watt yet? How about the Aston Martin Ohm? I think I'll go and lie down for a few minutes and contemplate our ever diminishing resources.

So how many MP's drive electric cars ?

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