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Dealers urged to lobby MPs over ICE ban and Brexit

Mark Lavery, chief executive of Cambria Motors

Dealers and their customers have been urged to lobby all their MPs and fight against the UK Government’s desire for an exclusively electric car market from 2035.

Parliament risks being led by “political soundbites” at the expense of the UK taxpayer and overseas child exploitation if it goes ahead with Boris Johnson’s proposal to ban new cars with internal combustion engine from the UK’s car showrooms in 2035.

That’s the view of the management team at AM100 motor retailer Cambria Automobiles, who cite a recent analysis by Polestar which found its new Polestar 2 electric car would need to travel 49,710 miles before it mitigates the carbon deficit created during its production versus an equivalent Volvo XC40.

Polestar’s Life Cycle Assessment’ revealed that the new Polestar 2 leaves the factory with a 26-tonne carbon footprint, compared to 14 tonnes for the Volvo XC40 SUV. It is larger than the Volvo SUV due mainly to the energy-intensive battery production process, it said.

Cambria chief executive Mark Lavery met with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP and Brandon Lewis MP in October in what Lavery described as “a proper tear up”.

He said the politicians “had no understanding” of the high whole life cost of producing a battery electric vehicle nor the damage and child exploitation in some countries mining raw materials such as cobalt.

“What you have is a metropolitan elite who’ve come up with a political soundbite to make us look ‘green’. But if we do go pure BEV by 2035 there’ll be huge pits in the middle of Africa that will never be able to be filled again. The only person who’ll pay for it will be the UK taxpayer with a significantly smaller new car market.”

“It’s soundbites rather than utilising the data. This is a government that talks about listening to the science. Well I suggest they do.”

Lavery believes many OEMs have accepted this as their fate. So motor retailers and consumers must make their voices heard and create enough push-back to ensure proposals are reconsidered.

Lavery said OEMs are already telling government what it wants to hear, so dealers and their customers must continue to lobby their own MPs. “We have all got to not just accept defeat here, and get stuck in to our MPs. We’re incredibly robust, and we do normally find a way to get things done.”

He had recently warned that such proposals will put a stop to OEMs' research and development in hybrid, hydrogen and synthetic fuels which could all play a vital part in the UK's aim of 'net zero' in a better manner.

Of immediate concern to Cambria’s board is the looming Brexit, as negotiations still haven't concluded. Lavery said: “You’d hope that the grown-ups get to what’s best for the taxpayers both side of the Channel. It is not in anybody’s interest to put tariffs on imports and exports.

“The Government appears to be handling negotiations in a manner to protect our sovereignty, and I understand that. We’re never going to move the UK, we’re part of Europe whether we like it or not, so please start behaving like grown ups and come up with a conclusion that works for all.

“This is not a political and economic situation to take advantage of, we’re all allies at the end of the day.”

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