It is summer, and politicians in most countries are on holiday. As they produce little new news, what better the fill the gap with a bombshell that guarantees a heated discussion: the ban to sell (or for us to buy) cars with combustion engines by 2040.
What a nice milestone, a hot topic to keep the folks busy. But what is the real story behind this?
Fossil fuel consumption by type of transport (UK, 2014)
Lets look at the details, the consequences and goals. We all agree, burning less fossil fuels is not a bad thing. Decades ago the fear spread among the population was that oil simply runs out. And remember, fear is a great motivator for change. So we started to find alternatives to the combustion engine - and never found a viable one with the same range and flexibility. But instead we found more oil, and with increased prices, even f*cking fracking becomes economically viable. We need another fear to motivate us to change, a new fear, and the fear of dying will do just fine. And the new target set is 2040, a nice balanced round number easy to remember and never to be reached. The problem with it inducing fear with IamAmSixty's like me is that by then, I am not sure if I will still be around. But who knows, at 83 to be picked up by a electric car, fine by me. But until then, lets have fun.
See the above chart. Motorcycles account for just 0.4% of all fuels burned in transportation in the UK. Funny enough, the bad bad car that will be banned by 2040 only for 44%, not even half. But the real fun will start when I see a jumbo jet gliding off into the skies with electro engines. Good luck.
Ships (7%) can sail again with the wind, as everything else slows down that should be no problem. To ban combustion engines in vans, trucks. HGV’s and buses is a bigger challenge then in cars, doesn’t sound like science fiction.
But airplanes? Forget to fly to New-York in a couple of hours, its a clipper under sail taking weeks. I really hope to still be around to experience that in 2040 for £400 round trip…
But before that happens I would bet that by 2040 we burn more fossil fuels as today, and found new technologies to clean the air on a global scale continent-wide scale. Lets not forget, electricity needs to be produced by more the just wind or solar, and stored in really poisonous batteries.
We will see, interesting years ahead.