Honda Targets Tories Over EVs

Tue 13th Oct 2020

The senior vice president of Honda has taken the unusual step of posting a blog on the Conservative party website to call for a more considered approach to the banning of ICE engines.

In the blog post, which is squarely aimed at those Tories keen to see a blanket ban on combustion engines by 2035, Ian Howells has said that hybrids could still play an important part in the future of motoring and that a singular approach to EVs could be misguided.

The Senior Vice Presdient of Europe said: “A multi-pathway approach is required, in which a broad range of technologies are used to deliver CO2 reductions quickly and effectively, while ensuring that personal mobility remains affordable and accessible to all. This is vital to the Government’s levelling up agenda and underpinning the fundamental principle of personal choice.

“Honda’s approach would see battery electric, advanced hybrid and – in time – hydrogen and decarbonised liquid fuels deployed to provide customers with the right vehicle, for the right use, at the right price.”

There are concerns from many within the motor manufacturing industry that the Government’s blinkered approach to EVs is too rushed and that the infrastructure is not ready for a complete switch to electric vehicles. Howells’ also points out that the expense of EVs may make driving a pursuit of the wealthy.

He said: “BEVs are not a silver bullet. Challenges around affordability, infrastructure and technology limitations mean that the Government cannot rely solely on electric vehicles to completely replace internal combustion engines by 2035, if it does not also intend to restrict consumer choice.

“An approach that relies only on expensive electric cars risks turning driving into a privilege only afforded to the wealthy, while pricing those who most need it out of personal mobility.

“While prices are coming down, BEVs remain expensive in comparison to advanced hybrid and conventional cars. The UK’s own Advanced Propulsion Centre projects that cost parity between electric and petrol cars will not be reached by 2035 – and will take much longer for larger family cars or popular SUVs. The simple truth is that not everyone will be able to afford an electric car and outlawing advanced hybrid alternatives will price people out of essential mobility for work, school, caring and socialising.”