Experts are warning that technology will not be the biggest barrier to a growth in the use of low emission vehicles throughout the UK. The barrier, they point out; will undoubtedly be on the retail end of the equation. Low emissions, hybrid, and electric cars are substantially more expensive than standard emission autos, and the industry does not seem prepared or equipped to change this.
Environmental concerns are a good motivation for many people, but for others the means will not justify the ends. Why would an average person purchase a low emission, hybrid, or electric car, if there were no financial advantage for them? Unfortunately the answer is that most will not.
For some environmentally enthusiastic consumers the benefit to the planet and their fellow man might be enough to get them to dig deeper in their pockets for the new generation of autos, but for most consumers, the motivation is just not there.
You would think that mass production of these vehicles, based on high demand, might reduce prices enough to make them a viable option for the common man. Auto industry insiders warn, however, that this is just not the case.
There is simply no precedent to believe that mass production will cause these cars to be any cheaper, they claim.
The government is promising grants to help consumers afford the new generation autos, but on what scale is unclear In order to meet projections there will need to be almost 2 million low-emission vehicles on the roads by 2020. There are now just a couple of thousand of these vehicles driving around, and the government says it will initially provide about 9,000 grants.