Fair Fuel APPG for UK Motorists and UK Hauliers August 2021 Page | 35 So, does Lesser want to get rid of ZEVs altogether? Not necessarily, but he takes a stance on mandates for these vehicles. “The bottom line is that the economic and environmental rationales for subsidizing ZEVs do not withstand scrutiny,” he writes in his report. “These subsidies, along with mandates for ZEV adoption, should be eliminated.” The CO 2 illusion Some critics of this report will be quick to argue that its authors are climate change sceptics. This could not be further from the truth. Without doubt climate change is happening but the APPG wants road user policy to be based on facts not emotion. The very nature motorists are such easy fiscal targets, makes them a continued first choice to raise tax revenue. But why is only CO 2 emissions used as the main yardstick to raise tax revenue? Political emphasis on who should pay for climate change is centred on CO 2 emissions. London’s current Ultra-Low Emission Discount for example, applies to cars or vans that meet the Euro5 standard for air quality, as well as emitting 75g/km or less of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). If your car emits less CO 2 , you pay less to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). First Year Rates (FYRs) of VED (see table) will vary according to the carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions of the vehicle. A flat Standard Rate (SR) of £140 will apply in all subsequent years, except for zero- emission cars for which the SR will be £0. Cars with a list price above £40,000 will attract a supplement of £310 on their SR for the first 5 years in which a SR is paid. Duncan Whi te of the Al l iance of Br i tish Dr ivers says on the CO 2 issue: “First, CO 2 is not the problem it’s made out to be and it certainly is not a pollutant the headlines portray. It is actually plant food which is why farmers increase glasshouse concentrations from our current atmospheric levels of about 400ppm (parts per million) to 1,500ppm to boost plant yield. It is also worth noting that inside a motorcyclist’s enclosed helmet CO 2 levels can reach 1,200ppm and inside a submarine at sea for weeks on end it is not uncommon to get concentrations of 22,000ppm. Sailors do not suffer ill effects. The question is simply this: is it right that UK’s 37m drivers seem to be the only constituency segment taking the environmental punitive hit(s) to mitigate climate adversity? So, a car over £40k, even with low emissions will be penalised. How can that be an incentive to driver cleaner vehicles?