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Gautam Kalghatgi: The Battery Car Delusion

Eminent engineer reveals major flaw in UK Govt’s electric car plans


London, 29 July: A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals another major flaw in plans to electrify the economy.

According to the author, Professor Gautam Kalghatgi, because most vehicles will still run on fossil fuels in ten years’ time, banning the sale of new ones would prevent any improvement in the efficiency of most of the vehicle fleet.

As Professor Kalghatgi explains:

“Even with an improbable hundred-fold increase to 10 million in battery electric vehicle numbers in 2030, 75% of cars will still run on petrol and diesel”, says Professor Kalghatgi.

“But no manufacturer is going to invest in more advanced cars if they are banned from selling them”.

And Professor Kalghatgi says those advances could bring about significant improvements in efficiency:

“If a battery car delivers a 25% saving in greenhouse gas emissions on a life cycle basis, the overall reduction for the UK would be less than 4% by 2030. A larger reduction emissions could be delivered with a 5% improvement in fuel consumption of petrol and diesel vehicles.”

“Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars simply means abandoning the possibility of future emissions reductions in this sector by freezing the technology of a vast majority of vehicles running U.K. transport for decades to come “.

Gautam Kalghatgi: The Battery Car Delusion (pdf)

About the author

Professor Gautam Kalghatgi is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He is currently a visiting professor at Oxford University, and has held similar professorial appointments at Imperial College, Sheffield University, KTH Stockholm and TU Eindhoven. He has 39 years of experience in combustion, fuels, engine and energy research; 31 years with Shell and 8 years with Saudi Aramco.