May 232008

ScrapChancellor Alistair Darling controversially backdated VED increases to 2001 in his March budget.  Shadow Transport Minister Justine Greening has obtained documents from the treasury showing that the overall vehicle emission reduction of the VED changes is expected to be just one tenth of one percent.

The ABD suggests that even this miniscule saving in emissions from the changes will come almost entirely from the purchasing decisions of new car buyers and that the backdating element is likely to increase overall CO2 output.  The backdating is clearly a tax raising scam dressed up in green foliage that will have the opposite effect to that claimed.  Even within the government’s unjustified framework where plant food gas is seen as evil this cannot make sense.  Surely even the few left who believe the man made global warming myth cannot think this is a good idea.

ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries explains:  “The new rates impact owners of less efficient vehicles built since 2001.  Owners of such cars face a choice: Either they sell their car at a drastically reduced price, sometimes scrap value for older, high mileage cars that nobody will want to pay £270 – £440 pa to tax, or they keep them and pay the higher taxes.  If they keep the car then there is no impact on emissions. However many drivers may choose to sell. Ultimately and inevitably this will lead to such cars being scrapped far sooner than under the old VED regime, often when they are still perfectly serviceable.  Now, clearly as inefficient cars get older they are very unlikely to be used by high mileage drivers who choose more efficient models. They tend to be in the hands of low mileage drivers.   Therefore inefficient old vehicles are rarely great emitters.  But encouraging their replacement with newer stock means CO2 is produced in production of the new vehicle.  Put simply, the replacement of the cars affected that generally do low mileages with new cars will produce more CO2 than it saves.”

ABD chairman Brian Gregory said:  “Alastair Darling must now quantify how the backdating of draconian VED increases on family cars to 2001 can possibly reduce emissions.  If he cannot justify these increases then the tax that is hammering poorer families and the elderly must be scrapped.  The government claim they are now listening.  Let’s see some evidence”

Mar 222008

Green Car GuideLast week’s Budget, together with the ever-rising price of oil and fears over CO2 emissions, has created further pressure to purchase energy-efficient vehicles. However there are few opportunities for people to see a range of class-leading low emission vehicles in the metal, all in one place.

provides an answer to this – it’s a Green Motor Show displaying the latest energy-efficient vehicles. The event is organised by, in association with Merseytravel’s ECOtravel Bureau, and sponsored by Masternaut GreenerFleet, Cenex and the Northwest Development Agency.

Green-Car-Guide Live! 2008 will take place on Thursday 12th June 2008 at the new award-winning Arena & Convention Centre in Liverpool. The event is aimed at businesses and other organisations with vehicle fleets, and entrance is free, although admission will only be possible by pre-registration at the website.

The low carbon vehicles exhibited will range from city cars through to executive cars and light commercial vehicles. Vehicle technology will include petrol, diesel, biofuel, hybrid and electric. Visitors can see ‘in the metal’ many of the vehicles that appear in the Green-Car-Guide e-Book available at There will also be a number of ‘show stoppers’ on display, ranging from the pioneering Oaktec Honda hybrid rally car to a diesel-electric Land Rover Defender.

The event will also include a seminar programme covering subjects such as an overview of the latest green vehicles, biofuels, and real time monitoring of CO2 emissions.

Speaking about the event, founder Paul Clarke said “Our experience of working in this sector shows that businesses and other fleet users are not aware of the latest range of low carbon vehicles. There is a perception that ‘green cars’ are predominantly small electric type-cars that are not suitable for business use. However in reality there are many efficient cars that could help businesses lower their carbon emissions, save money, and therefore become more competitive.”

“The entire motor industry is undergoing a seismic shift to bring low emission vehicles to market, yet there is still little opportunity for car buyers to be able to see a collection of such vehicles in one place; Green-Car-Guide Live! 2008 aims to address this.”

Martin Port, Managing Director of the event’s main sponsor, Masternaut GreenerFleet, comments: “We are delighted to support this event as it is a practical demonstration of how businesses can become more efficient and save costs by adopting lower emission vehicles. People are likely to be surprised by the ever-increasing range of energy-efficient vehicles that are now available.”

For more information about the event, and to register, visit

Feb 212008

Congestion ChargingChanges to the congestion charge will not significantly cut CO2, nor will they drive down traffic in central London. However, families who need larger cars could face bills of up to £6,000 a year. SMMT has re-stated these concerns today, following the mayor of London’s press briefing this morning.

From 27 October, cars that emit more than 225 g/km CO2 will pay £25 to enter the central London charging zone. Band A and B cars, those that emit less than 120 g/km, will be eligible for a 100 per cent discount. The mayor did not make clear how long discounts would apply. Drivers of cars within bands C to F will pay the current £8 a day charge.

The scheme has been billed as a gas-guzzler tax. However, families with some variants of popular cars like the Ford Mondeo, Renault Espace or Vauxhall Vectra will be forced to pay £25 a day just to drive within the zone.

‘This is totally disproportionate and does not present a consistent signal to consumers,’ said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. ‘The mayor has made it clear that charges will be varied in future and has not clarified the period in which discounts will apply.

‘We can be confident that this means higher charges and the gradual erosion of discounts for band A and B cars. I shall therefore be writing to the mayor seeking a three-year application period before any further changes are made to the scheme.’

TfL figures suggest a CO2 saving of up to 8,100 tonnes under the changes. That compares to total ground-based transport emissions in London of 9.7 million tonnes. In other words, the maximum benefit for the capital would be a CO2 reduction of just 0.084 per cent.

This compares to average new car CO2 emissions which have come down by 13 per cent in a decade, saving an estimated million tonnes of CO2 each year. The biggest improvements have come in the 4×4 and MPV segments, down 20 and 24 per cent respectively.

SMMT supports the mayor’s stated aim to reduce congestion. However, independent reports suggest that changes could encourage between 4-10,000 additional cars onto central London roads. That could mean more congestion and delays for drivers within the zone.