Calls for Rishi Sunak to ‘embrace’ sustainable fuels to keep classic cars

A Conservative MP has demanded Rishi Sunak look into sustainable fuels as an alternative to electric vehicles.

Greg Smith, a member of Parliament’s Transport Committee has urged officials to reconsider rules around the new petrol and diesel mix.

He stressed allowing manufacturers to embrace sustainable fuels would make them more widely available.

This in turn could help classic car owners who are facing an uncertain future with the motor industry’s focus on electric technology.

Speaking to Classic Car Weekly, Mr Smith, MP for Buckingham said: “To truly embrace synthetic fuels and make them mainstream so that we can use them to keep all of our classics on the road indefinitely, they will need to be scaled, and to be scaled the manufacturers need the confidence that government regulations will permit, and therein lies our problem.

READ MORE ‘I’m an engineer – New petrol mix could be alternative to electric cars’

“The zero-emission vehicle mandate needs to change.”

According to carwow, synthetic fuels can be created through several different methods including capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The gas is captured from the air with renewable energy sources used to generate hydrogen.

Hydrogen and carbon dioxide are then combined to generate synthetic methanol which can be used in vehicles.

These new fuels are already being adopted by manufacturers with Porsche and Ferrari already investing in the technology.

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Back in March, Germany reached an agreement with the European Union to allow new cars powered by combustion engines to be sold beyond the 2035 petrol and diesel ban.

Despite changes across the continent, The UK Government has yet to give its blessing over the use of sustainable fuels past the current 2035 deadline.

Earlier this month, Mr Smith raised the issue to Energy Secretary, Claire Coutinho, in the House of Commons.

He explained: “Synthetic fuel – by which I mean genuinely synthetic fuels made from green hydrogen and atmospheric carbon capture, rather than biofuels or fuels from waste – are net zero.

“The amount of carbon at tailpipe is the same volume that is recaptured to make the next lot of fuel.

“Yet the myopic zero-emissions vehicle mandate prevents the UK from benefiting from synthetic fuels for our road vehicles.”

He asked the Government to revisit the zero-emission mandate but Ms Coutinho suggested that no immediate changes were in the pipeline.

She responded: “We have set out our position on the zero emissions mandate. However, we are also looking at synthetic fuels.

“As I said, it’s something we are consulting on for aviation and we can look at them more broadly. But we have set out our position on this mandate which has been widely welcomed.”

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