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Rod Liddle: So When Will Boris Johnson’s Government Tell Us That Hybrid Cars Are The New Diesel?

Ron Liddle, The Sun

I know the Government has got a huge majority and therefore can do pretty much whatever it wants. But is it really necessary for Boris ­Johnson to p*ss off half the people in the country?

The Government decided to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2040 — and has now brought the date forward to 2035.

 So when do they tell us that hybrid cars are the new diesel? asks Rod Liddle
So when do they tell us that hybrid cars are the new diesel? asks Rod Liddle
Credit: Roddy Scott – The Sun Glasgow

This is in order to lower still further our carbon emissions and keep the people from Extinction Rebellion happy. Well, not happy. Just a bit less shrieky.

But it has also decided to ban hybrid cars as well. Those are the cars with an electric motor and an auxiliary petrol or diesel engine alongside.

These cars have been bought by people who wanted to do their bit to fight climate change.

We were all urged to buy hybrid cars, as a useful compromise between petrol, diesel and all-electric. And, as usual, we do as we’re told.

In the past two years, more than 330,000 people have bought hybrid cars. They will not be best pleased.

Their resale value will begin to shrink, even if the cut-off date is still 15 years in the future. Would you buy a used car which will be obsolete and illegal ten years, say, hence?


The real reason for banning hybrids is that — whisper it quietly — they were not quite as efficient at lowering emissions as was originally thought.

For some models there’s not a terribly big difference between the muck spewed out by a diesel car and the muck spewed out by a hybrid. Got a slight feeling of deja vu? No kidding — me too.

For years the Government urged us to switch from petrol cars to diesel because diesels were much more friendly to the environment.

And it’s true that diesels generate much lower levels of carbon emissions. Trouble is, they also chuck out vast quantities of other stuff, such as nitrogen oxides.

This is why in city centres you see ­pensioners and children unable to breathe, apparently, and dropping dead all over the place. In other words, the experts got it completely wrong.

And so today, far from subsidising diesel owners, London charges them £12.50 per day because their cars are classed as gross pollutants.


For the ordinary person, this is both confusing and enraging. We don’t know what way to turn. The policies are contradictory and change entirely over a very short space of time.

And for most of us, a car is one of the most expensive and important purchases we will ever make. Second only to a house. What are we to do?

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