COP 26 - what does it mean for the motorist of the future?

Joseph Bulmer

As the world leaders set out their plans to stop global warning destroying the planet what should we all do to contribute?

We already know the plan to remove combustion powered vehicles will help but the supply and demand for electric power is yet to provide a significant change and will only gain real momentum in the second half of the 2020’s as prices and infrastructure improve.

It is also likely the Government will introduce further incentives or penalties to ensure a firm commitment from manufacturers as well as motorists to reach their target.

One major development announced this week is the tie up between Fortescue Future Industries, the Australian energy giant, (FFI), Ryze Hydrogen and JCB, to bring green hydrogen into the UK.

Ryze will purchase ten per cent of FFI’s global green hydrogen production which is expected to produce 15 million tonnes by 2030  growing to 50 million tonnes in the 2030s.

Jo Bamford, son of Lord Bamford, JCB’s chairman, founded Ryze and also owns Wrightbus.

They hope to persuade the Government to invest in buses, trains, trucks, ships and aircraft which use green hydrogen to help the Government to achieve its net zero objective.

More and more manufacturers are providing hydrogen fuelled vehicles and this could be a good alternative to electricity.

Transport is responsible for almost a quarter of harmful emissions so it will be interesting to see if hydrogen and electricity can remove a large part of this.

There are other things we can do.

Motorists could try and use their cars less and plan their journeys better.

This is difficult in the South West where public transport is generally poor but we could try to share driving where possible.

We are looking at a scheme to link up our employees as most arrive in cars which sit on the road or in a car park all day.

Even getting two in the same district to share would help and four would really make a difference.

The alternative is using a bike but more investment is needed in cycle lanes if this is going to grow seriously.

We are going to get more pressure to do more at home.

Insulate your houses where losing heat is becoming increasingly more expensive and there are Government grants available to help.

Buying low-emission appliances and just turning them off when we are not using them will have an effect.

We are also going to be asked to change our boilers from gas to electricity and again Government grants will help with the cost.

We should try to eat more environmentally friendly foods and ensure we waste less.

We all throw away too much food and expect to have products whether they are in season or not.

One of the results of Covid is we have not gone out to social events as we used to and there has been no pressure to be fashionable, so if we can afford to purchase clothes that last longer and can be recycled it makes good sense and helps the planet.

The reason I mention these other ways of reducing greenhouse gasses is we love the freedom of our motor cars.

Electricity, hydrogen and new forms of power will help but we all need to contribute more for the benefit of future generations.

Stay safe, keep smiling and I look forward to next week.