back to article MEP plans EU build ban on cars faster than 100mph

The EU Parliament's environment committee is considering a proposal to ban all cars capable of exceeding 100 mph (162 km/hour) from 2013. The proposal, put forward by LibDem MEP Chris Davies, is based on the arguments that cars that go faster than 100 mph are "over-engineered to a ridiculous degree", and that for safety reasons …

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  1. Torben Mogensen

    Tax the fuel

    The only really effective means to reduce fuel consumption in private vehicles is to tax the fuel heavily. If the main cost of owning a car becomes the fuel cost, you will see people choose more economic cars and drive them less or with more passengers.

    This will also make fuel economy more of a design decision for luxury cars than it is now.

    Taxing heavier cars higher doesn't really help, as the more you pay in fixed expenses on your car, the more you are inclined to use it to amortize the fixed costs over more miles. It may influence choice of cars somewhat, but once a buyer has chosen to spend extra cash buy a heavy car, there is little incentive not to use it a lot.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uniquely British

    As an EU citizen I can state that unfortunately Euro MEPs are underworked and overpaid – anyone who has glimpsed the directive on Circuses in the EU will understand!

    In this particular instance a newly formed British trait is showing its ugly head – instead of aspiring to owning something big / expensive / luxurious that you neighbour has and working towards it……….Ban him from owning it and enjoying it so that if you cant have it – no-one can.

    I vote my country out this botched experiment called the EU!

  3. Marvin the Martian

    Germany.

    I understand this is all gesture politics, as nobody believes for a second this will pass German opposition. They have the roads where you can legally drive in excess of that limits, and (by jove!) they have the well-marked, well-laid out and well-maintained roads where you can drive at such speeds, as opposed to, e.g., Britain.

    So many jobs depend on automobile construction and sales, especially of powerful luxury cars, that Germany will not in the foreseeable future lower or introduce speed limits. Not. Forget it.

    It escapes me where the `Liberal' is in this proposal. It echos a Dutch proposal when the first 300kmph-capable production motorbike (Suzuki GSX-r1300 Hayabusa) went on sale, they planned a limit of 160HP or something arbitrary like that (the suz had some 167, just in excess; arbitrary given that aerodynamics are so important --- it needs about 15HP to drive at 140kmph, exceeding speed limits).

  4. Peter Kay

    Now that's a good article..

    It's not about top speed; it's about how fast you get there, plus passenger comfort, carrying capacity. etc.

    Take a fiesta - quite a decent low end car. It'd probably do over 100mph, flat out. Now stick something heavy in the boot, a couple of people in the back, and try to drive on a motorway uphill at 70mph with the aircon on. You'll struggle, even with your foot flat to the floor in fourth.

    If the MP advocated an electric limiter, he'd have a point, as a large amount of fast cars are already limited to 155mph. People like to speed though, and cars are sold on that basis. The vehicle lobby will never agree.

    New cars generally are a lot more efficient. Having say a 1.8L turbo that can do 150-180mph and still do over 30mpg at sane speeds would have been unthinkable years ago. The environmental impact of junking a three year old car and buying a new one is vastly larger than any benefit new electronics will proved, though.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politician in passionate-but-totally-ignorant proposal shocker

    Do these people not have advisors? Or reference books? Or a tv? Or the Internet? Or friends?

    Making up silly proposals that aren't based on any fact but are provoked purely on the basis of a passionate belief, whether justified or not, just serves to make the person look a little loony. Maybe Mr Davies could have a few meetings with Chief Constable Brunstrom.. I'm sure between them they could author a whole series of spittle-flecked rants about motorists as a whole based purely on Mr Davies' pretend science and Mr Brunstrom's offensive selfishness.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Euro-hostility

    I wonder if the EU are ever going to work out that public hostility to the EU has far less to do with the iniquities of the CAP, the mountain of cash hosed at making the parliament peripatetic or any of the other "big ticket" items.

    It's 'cos it's run by complete wankers.

    TeeCee

  7. Iain Thomas

    Prius...

    Shame the Prius can do 105MPH. Presumably, that too would be banned...

  8. Owen Cooper

    Engine limiters

    Hmm... I own a Japanese grey import car that was engine limited to 111mph (180 km/h) in it's Japanese domestic form, and it was the work of ohhhh... minutes to undo it when it arrived in the UK. It was even quicker to do on my cousins motorbike. And I imagine the original owner delimited it the moment he bought it and only put the limiter back on when it was time to sell it.

  9. Yves Kurisaki

    How do these muppets get into politics?

    Oh wait.. I just answered my own question.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Humm...

    Will it effect anything? Car makers will just slap a 100mph limiter on cars and stick with that, because a car that only dose 100mph will never be happy crusing at 70 (It will be to high in the rev range.)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weight has more reasons..

    The more weight, the more kinetic energy gets distributed. This is why a HGV can sometimes not even notice the impact of hitting a car, it's why a lightweight vehicle has the losing side of a frontal collision, and it explains why a fat MEP will come off better from a collision with a overburdened tax payer..

    In addition, a fast car is also overspec'd on safety features. So I'd still buy a fast, heavy car, even if I was not living in Germany - it's safer for those inside.

    "Ye can't beat tha law on physics" (Scotty, R.I.P.)

  12. Gavin

    wow who employs people that think like that

    wow, ok lets just get rid if all the roads, kill all the farting cows, ban curries and ban the burning of anything ever.

    Wow look i cured emissions problems and global warming, i'm a genious give me a job in government.

  13. Matthew

    Won't work...

    Existing cars won't be covered - they'd never dare allow retrospective legislation on a subject as contentious as this - so it could actually encourage older cars to be kept in use becase they could flout the ban.

    Under limited-volume approval, kitcars and the like can re-use certain components of an older car and retain the registration. So a nice shiny new car, with enough old bits will also be exempt. After it's legal, of course, you can replace whatever parts you like as a 'repair'...

    There will also always be someone somewhere making a car that can exceed the limit - what will happen to foreign registered visitor's cars?

    This sounds like an ill-thought out idea with no thought to the consequences. I'm sure it will be ratified with undie swiftness by the UK government and will be ignored, as usual, by everyone else. Can you seriously see the Italians allowing this?!

  14. Neil Cooper

    Ridiculous

    I'll bet anyone who has a big car hardly ever in fact takes it over 100mph mostly because there's little to nowhere to do it these days becuase of the other traffic and all the speed cameras popping up everywhere.

    People will still buy ludicrously expensive gas guzzling cars for status, regardless of whether they are limited to 100 mph or not.

    All that will happen is manufacturers will gear bigger engined EU cars lower, meaning they will be able to accelerate to a limited 100 mph faster, so meaning more danger and an overall net loss in efficiency therefore increase in pollution.

  15. Andy Patchett

    0-100mph times

    No problem with a 100mph limit, as long as they don't restrict how quickly it gets there.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bad combination

    Politicians should not try to legislate engineering. Even though we call them the Laws of Physics, they can't be repealed or amended.

  17. Matt Thornton

    Jeremy Clarkson will be thrilled

    Can't wait to see what Top Gear makes of this suggestion...

  18. Anthony Metcalf

    But...

    Two things.

    1) hitting a car, head on, at 60mph, which is also doing 60mph, is the same as hitting a wall at 120mph......

    So we need the added "saftey" weight (in the same way as your "hitting something bigger argument").

    2) Building a new car, puts out more emissions than even the worst car will output in it's driving lifetime, dur to the horrible-ness of extracting things like Al....

    So, we are to help the environment, by damanging the environment? At the same time, making cars less safe?

    Sounds like a plan!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100mph?

    That's a limit that can be exceeded by pretty damn nearly every current car made with more than a 1 litre engine. Utterly ridiculous metric to use and does nothing to address a 2-ton 7 litre monster truck that can't hit 100 but still burns half the remaining North Sea Oilfields getting the kids to school.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it moves, ban it

    Of course we know that banning things is the most effective solution to any given problem; how can anyone dispute a method with such a long and proven track record? Though I can't help feeling that this eagerness to ban everything that causes him offence doesn't exactly sit well with Mr Davies' self-professed credentials as one who is "liberal" and "democratic", but perhaps I'm just missing something obvious.

  21. Pete Bryan

    Laughable

    It is these ridiculous policy ideas that mean the Lib Dems will never be a serious contender for Government. The idea that all cars that exceed 100mph are unenviromentally friendly is simply rubbish. After all a Toyota Prius can break the 100mph mark.

    Also isn't the EU trying to promote European culture and acheivement? (See EUTube) Well surely supurbly crafted high performance sports cars are the pinnicale of European mechanical engineering.

    I really can't see any Italian or Germant MEP supporting this.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crappy Fiat

    I have a crappy fiat bravo that weighs next to nothing. You only have to fart next to it to dent it. I would not want to be in it in any crash at any speed. It can easily do over 100MPH. I think this MEP is an uninformed non-engineer commenting on something to self publicise and get airtime, rather than proposing a well rounded solution to the problem.

  23. Mark

    Muppet

    "At a time when Europe is worried about its energy security it is sheer lunacy to approve the sale of gas guzzling cars designed to travel at dangerous speeds that the law does not permit."

    Just because the speeds are not legal in this country doesn't mean they are illegal in every country moron!!

    Why should the Germans be forced to limit thier cars to 100MPH when they can quite legally drive them at 140MPH down the autobahns??

    Also if he did some research I think mr Davies will find that a lot of German manufacturers already limit thier cars to 145MPH to prevent people going too fast down the autobahns, so in effect you could say that this already happnes, just at a slightly faster speed than mr Davies would like..

    Muppet

  24. Noogie Brown

    Lol what about 4x4s?

    Surely their excess weight contributes unecessarily to CO2 production if we're going to get silly about things.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Compulsary 3rd party insurance

    I think they should shift the tax burden from fixed taxes to petrol and mileage related taxes to encourage people to use their cars less.

    1. All annual car tax would be abolished.

    2. The equivalent tax would be added to the petrol tax, so that an average motorist pays the same taxes, he just pays it as part of petrol instead of annual car tax. Drive less and he then saves those taxes.

    3. All fixed interval costs would be removed. MOT would be every 20,000 miles with the limit on brake thickness etc. set so that the car will last another 20000 miles. If you only drive rarely, you should need your car MOT's less often and be able to save money and time as a result/reward.

    4. Compulsary 3rd party insurance would be linked to mileage, drive 1000 miles a year, pay 1/10th of someone who drives 10,000 miles a year. Drive less, be rewarded by reduce insurance costs.

    5. MOT equivalence anywhere in Europe. A person working in Germany should not have to drive back to his home country when an MOT is due, the equivalent test should be done where-ever they are working. Less wasted journeys, since we accept all European tests as valid for driving a European car in the UK, it makes sense to make them equivalent.

    The aim would be to get people to only use the car when they really need to. Drive 1/10th of the journeys you use to drive, and your car related costs are 1/10th as much.

    At the moment, if you pay 1000GBP a year in fixed costs, then no matter what you'll pay 3GBP a day, even if you take the bus, the bus has to be so much more efficient that it not only saves you the petrol costs, it also has to save you an extra 3GBP a day in order for you to save money. With mileage and petrol related taxes, you would automatically save that cost and it would be a stronger incentive to use the bus or cycle or walk.

    i.e. both carrot and stick to encourage people to drive less, but accept that sometimes they need a car. As more people use public transport (PT), the need for a car will reduce and PT will get better encouraging more people to use PT.

    "who resigned as LibDem group leader last year following an unfortunate email exchange on the subject of Israel."

    You make it sound so sinister, the words he was criticized for were these:

    "We should be honest. These are the racist policies of apartheid yet Israel continues to pose as a victim.

    "I visited Auschwitz last year, and it is very difficult to understand why those whose history is one of such terrible oppression appear not to care that they have themselves become oppressors."

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ummmm,

    Wonder what the response for Germany's MEP will be?

  27. Matthew

    Lotus - nuff said

    The 2007 lotus elise is a 1.8L 4 banger that manages 24/29 mpg and weighs only 1975lb..OMG shut them down now! Don't they know any better!

  28. Keiran

    Sick of the over inflated opinion of the Prius

    <RANT ABOUT PRIUS>

    The Toyota Prius is not the fantastically 'green' car that everyone keeps raving about (http://www.wintonsworld.com/cars/a-cars-2004/toyota-prius-road-test.html). A bog standard small 1.4 diesel (e.g. Citroen C2) give comparable and often better fuel consumption.

    I have a diesel C2 with sensodrive transmission (kind of auto, so less efficient than a manual) and after 40,000 mile was getting an average of 67mpg...I'm young and don't drive like a granny.

    My journey has recently changed from a 40 mile run to a more congested 20 mile journey and after ~5,000 miles of this I'm now holding steady at 64mpg.

    </RANT ABOUT PRIUS>

    This guy also needs to do a bit of research, most high performance cars get their strength from advanced lightweight materials (e.g carbon fibre), the weight required for safe handling at high speed is generally provided by aerodynamic engineering. I'm guessing he either

    a) does not drive

    b) only drives in a city centre (and the Prius would then need to use it's petrol engine as it would never get to charge on long speedy runs).

  29. Bruce Jackson

    They actually have a point.

    The first 3 cars I owned were all incapable of going 100 MPH yet they were comfortable, fun to drive, and reasonably safe. My cars since then were all faster and easily capable of triple digit speeds.

    There was a time when a car that could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in under 10 seconds was a quick car; now even bottom line econoboxes can do this.

    Engines are much more efficient than than when I started driving but millege has not improved because instead of improving millege motorists demanded and automakers built larger and more powerful cars.

    Of course, it is nice to have some reserve power in automobiles for passing and merging on expressways. Most cars day probably have more reserve than they need.

    100 HP is enough to move any car on the market yet many luxury and high performance cars have over 300.

    My solution would rather than limit cars to 100 MPH increase taxes on petrol enough that most people can't afford large high performance cars. Use the extra revenue on mass transit, clean and/or renewable fuels, etc.

  30. Luiz Abdala

    Take the discharge pipe out of your mouth...

    Puleeze... If you want to ENCOURAGE economic cars, don´t ban cars that can go over 100mph, cut the taxes on smaller engines. Here in Brasil (with an "S", got a problem?), there was a major tax discount for any car equipped with engines of 1 liter (1000cc) or below. Yes, that´s the size of the engine for a ultra-sport bike. Any North American driving an oil rig, er, SUV, would think that this size of engine are for mopeds only.

    It turns out that the rest of the planet can´t afford to be so careless about the environment, and besides, gasoline is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE HERE. Here it costs some 1,3 dollar per litre (some 4 or 5 litres make a gallon, so...). It turns out that it makes a lot of sense to buy a small engine'd car.

    It turned out that every car manufacturer was encouraged to extract as much possible of that 1 liter. Now, we have SUPERCHARGED chars on that engine size, built by FORD. It can draws 90hp out of 1 liter. Scale that to a "small block" Mopar 7-liter Hemi, do you get 630hp, supercharged or not? I GUESS NOT.

    What about mileage? Most cars that size (1.0L) can do some 16 kilometer per litre, or better. A SUV capable of 5 kilometers per liter is called "economic".

    Another thing, "cars must be heavier to be stable and safer at 100mph". Ouuuchhhh. Tell that to Audi TT. Tell that to Mazda MX-5.

    Besides that, any 1 liter car, with some tinkering and tweaking (nitro and big-size turbo) can do 100mph. Bikes, by definition, can do 100mph, if they are any larger than 500cc. Will they be banned by 2012? They are greener than a Ford Explorer or Cadillac.

    Even a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle (1600cc) with some tinkering, can go 80+ mph, and it barely reaches 70 hp or anything like it.

    I guess I have covered all grounds, any single argument to ban cars above 100mph was destroyed. You have to make them so expensive to buy, and anti-economic to keep running, that you will be encouraged to buy something cheaper. It worked around here like a charm. 2-Liter engines here are "Luxury" models. They still have some power-to-weight ratio, and still can reach 80 mph with some effort. People buy larger engines for their ACCELERATION, not top speed, it is illegal to go at 100mph in 99.5% of the planet anyway, the top speed comes as a bonus.

    Power limiting (Japan style) = failure. All power limiters can be removed.

    Weight limiting = unpratical. No wonder nobody tried that.

    Speed limiting = always existed. But it is down to any driver's judgement now.

    Engine size scaled tax = excellent. The smaller, the cheaper. No one is preventing you on driving at 100mph, but it will cost you some dosh.

  31. John Stag

    Cart before horse...

    If the goal is to improve fuel efficiency then legislate fuel efficiency, not speed.

    Anything else is just another moronic "anti-speed" crusade.

  32. John Latham

    Hypocritical asshat

    So, an MEP wants to ban fast cars, which he doesn't have any use or desire for, because he's so busy zipping between the UK, Brussels and Strasbourg by plane and train, emitting copious CO2 to complement his hot air.

    Once the Eurocrats consolidate on a single geographical location, and/or sort out their telecommuting, then I'll consider doing as they preach (if it makes sense).

    In the meantime: shut up, you over-expensed, over-polluting, parasitical hypocrite.

    John

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reintroduce the "Red Flags"

    It would also reduce unemployement ;)

    Surely the EU could reduce its carbon emissions be banning all MEP/Minsters/Prime Minsters and other heads of State from using huge status symbol cars when atteneding its meetings?

    In fact perhaps the EU should ban all member govement's officals from using anything but public transport when on state/offical business.

    Perhaps then the govement would understand we the general public chose to buy that 7ton monster truck to do the school run rather then get on the bus with the kids.

  34. Matt Kimber

    They work for us...

    ... so how many of his constituents were writing letters saying that they wanted a 100mph limiter on all cars?

    Because it wouldn't be on for an MP/MEP to come up with an idea off his own back, apropos of nothing, and take it all the way to Europe without consulting his constituency first, would it?

  35. Alasdair

    Good arguments against but...

    ... it's a waste of your good time if you are trying to convince Mr Davies he is (completely and utterly) wrong. Someone who comes up with arguments like that for new legislation is beyond help and he undermines every other MEP/MP's hard won respect by showing such a complete lack of regard for facts.

    I'm a mechanical engineer and can think of a couple more reasons why the legislation wouldn't work without really trying but I shant waste my time. I guess I don't even have to mention the proportion of total CO2 production that is attributable to motor vehicles ?

    Mr Davies: please inform us when you have put your brain back into gear. It is very hard for us to tell when this has happened.

  36. John Stag

    Nitpick

    "hitting a car, head on, at 60mph, which is also doing 60mph, is the same as hitting a wall at 120mph"

    Ummm, no.

    If both cars weigh the same then it's exactly the same as a 60mph crash. Both cars go from sixty to zero in a very short time.

    If one is twice as heavy as the other then it will be like a 40mph crash for that car and an 80mph crash for the other.

  37. Kurt Guntheroth

    limit emissions instead

    Why not simply limit maximum emission (in liters of C02 per unit time) from the engine and leave all other parameters free. Then if someone wanted to build a 2000kg car able to go 200kph then they'd just have to come up with a revolutionary engine, or an electric boost or something. And if someone wanted to use their 15-year-old engine design, they'd have to make the body out of carbon fiber and the frame of titanium.

    The answer is, of course, because somebody hates fast drivers a lot more than they like the environment. Sigh.

  38. Phil

    Stop all this 'bigger taxes' business

    Bugger all of our road tax goes back into road and public transport maintenance, so why should we pay any more?

    And increasing it or paying per mile won't suddenly make us all trade up for Smart cars, it just means we will all have to pay more to drive and sacrifice other things.

    This is what always happens.

    The people that make the rules get to keep their jags, the eco-heads ride pogo sticks anyway, and the rest of us 'normals' have to go the pub less, or delay that new telly puchase so we can afford to drive our average cars.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tee hee

    Idiot,

    My Kit car has a lower top speed than most family hatch backs, wieghs less than a mini, yet burns 10x the fuel at full belt (it's actually resonable at sensible revs)due to it's race tuned engine and twin 45's chucking it in.

    It does about 2000 miles a year, so, yes please an MOT every 10 years(above suggestion), In fact I've an MG that hasn't moved in 20 years, so should be fine to put straight back on the road.

    Get real.

    Tax on fuel is the most sensible, but of course the UK has amongst the highest fuel tax in the world, so what next.

    Hydrogen? Because that is 100% green isn't it? (well if you exclude the high anount of energy required to make it).

    Electric? see above

    Hot Air? Only problem, fuel stations are only found around goverment buildings.

    Horse and cart ? Well if you exclude methane from the horses backside and land mass put over to feeding the horses.

    Got it. Death squads. Yes kill the human race (Something Commandant George is trying his best to do). That will solve the isse.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a non-story - the European Parliament *considers*...

    I think it's important that we keep this story in perspective. The European Parliament, the least powerful of the major EU institutions is considering something i.e. discussing it at committee level.

    The likelihood of it being passed into law is extremely slim indeed.

    Parliaments are there to discuss things, that's why they're called parliaments. However, when it comes to the EU, any off the wall discussion gets published by UK journalists as if it were absolute fact and had been passed into law.

    There will undoubtedly be pressure on manufacturers to produce more efficient cars, but I really can't see any reason why they'd be capping maximum speeds.

    Let's not forget that Germany has speed limits of over 100mph on certain motorway lanes, as do a few other countries.

  41. Gregor Kronenberger

    so how do I vote him out of office?

    As a EU citizen, how can I vote that idiot out of office. After all, his idea is stupid and has NOTHING to do with being liberal.

  42. Adam Collett

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

    So, if he is going to ban Cars based on speed then perhaps he should think about the planes and trains that travel well in excess of 100mph? They are guzzling more fuel and chucking out more pollution that most of the ENTIRE UK's cars put together!!

  43. John A Blackley

    Serious? No.

    "I've paid the price for pressing the 'send' button when I was not only angry but blazing mad."

    A Lib-Dem? "Angry"? "Blazing mad"? Oh right! The whole story's a spoof.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointless

    By the time they ban everything fun, America will just emit more CO2 anyway, so what's the point! Europe could focus all their energy in shouting at them but they won't listen.

    Personally I think it's too late to save the planet, might aswell go and find a new one....and obviously ban American's.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bomb BMW

    In the same way that the US targets cocaine facilities in Columbia and poppy farms in Afghanistan, it seems reasonable that anyone supplying cars that can be driven illegally fast should be targeted.

    Only fair.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nanny Blairs reign of terylene is over

    "In fact I've an MG that hasn't moved in 20 years, so should be fine to put straight back on the road."

    If it's roadworthy then yes.

    Don't confuse the *test* of roadworthiness with whether the car is roadworthy. If I have an MOT and the car has no brakes, it's still an offense to drive it.

    If I don't have an MOT, but the car would pass an MOT, then the car is still safe.

    The *test* of roadworthiness isn't the same as whether a car is roadworthy or not. It's the *test* that needs to be done every N miles as a double check, but the primary duty to check the car is still yours and always has been. You being an adult and me not being a your nanny.

    "Tax on fuel is the most sensible, but of course the UK has amongst the highest fuel tax in the world, so what next."

    What if you pay net 0 extra tax? What if the fuel tax goes up by a typical 200GBP a year and the car tax goes down by a typical 200GBP a year? What then? If you drive less, then you can save that 200GBP, so even a net zero tax change would be better.

    What Blair did was use all stick an no carrot, he just turned the damn tax dial up, without any corresponding reduction in vehicle or other car bills and of course people went ballistic.

    Nanny Blairs reign of terylene is over. Time for something new.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

    I think you have to consider measuring your CO2 emissions on a per passenger / per km basis.

    Obviously a high speed diesel train puts out more CO2 than say, a small high performance car, but it does carry between 500 and 1000 people at a time.

    If the train's electric, as many high speed ones are, it's running on a mixture of fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, hydro etc (i.e. off the national grid)

    Likewise, an aircraft's output of CO2 is high, but it covers vast distances and carries 100+ to 500+ people.

    Cars are by far the most polluting form of transport on the basis of CO2 produced per passenger carried and per KM travelled.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one of the obvious disadvantages to democracy...

    is that ill-thought out, biased, petty and vindictive nonsense such as this proposal ever see the light of day. The people that voted for this moron should be made aware of his idiotic ravings.

    Thanks to the Register for taking the time to destroy the argument behind his attention-seeking posturing.

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Limit children not speed.

    If you want to save the environment, children are about the most damaging thing you can make in the worst case the damage can grow exponentially until total collapse of the eco-system.

    In fact, the faster you go, the more likely you are to stop damaging the environment.

  51. gabor

    4x4s

    can all the idiots please leave 4x4s alone. if you can't afford one, tough shit. if you don't like them, tough shit. others like them, use them, pay the price of them, the gas, the higher insurance, you name it. instead, try asking your mp what exactly all that tax money is spent on.

    limiting to 100 Mph - I wonder when they will attempt to limit how many times I fart a day. what a bloody nonsense.

  52. Barry

    "Tax on fuel" doesn't work.

    Tax on fuel is by its nature linear. A 50% more inefficient car uses 50% more fuel and costs 50% more. What is needed is to ensure that users of 50% more inefficient cars must pay 200% more, or whatever level is necessary to promote efficient car usage, whilst still allowing the rich and powerful who run society to drive the cars they need to compensate for their small genitalia.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for it

    Saving the planet will require an enormous change in our value system. This proposition sends a good signal: most cars nowadays are an absolute waste of our resources and this should be stopped. We don't want big cars. I admit that it will be difficult to ban cars completely but at least we should put all our effort on designing small, efficient cars (while keeping safety in mind).

    - Even if a 2 ton car is energy efficient, it's still wasting more than 1.5 ton of materials and misses the opportunity to be even more efficient.

    - Is it legal to drive fast in Germany? About time they come to reason then. Are German cars artificially limited to 145 MPH. Seems like limiting the speed is not that ignorant, then.

    - You say that politicians should not try to legislate engineering. What about the current carbon emission limits imposed on cars? What about the safety regulations?

    - If people will buy ludicrously expensive gas guzzling cars for status, then that's the sort of spoiled-kid behavior that should be tackled. I can hear those chiefs on Easter Island saying "Let's build bigger statues!".

    - If most high performance cars get their strength from advanced lightweight materials, then maybe we should apply the same research with the same focus to small cars.

    - Are we putting all that extra weight in cars for comfort? Yet, buy lightweight sport cars for pure pleasure? Let's be honest, most small, light cars nowadays are already very comfortable.

    - Extra weight for higher security? Where does it stop? Shouldn't you drive slower for increased security? Or shouldn't we focus on technologies that assist drivers (like the ABS system did) instead of making the road more dangerous for everyone not in the car?

    Multiplying the prices of fuel by 10 is surely a better solution, but still, we need many more propositions to change the minds of some of these madmen above.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Total costs are sub linear

    "Tax on fuel is by its nature linear. A 50% more inefficient car uses 50% more fuel and costs 50% more. What is needed is to ensure that users of 50% more inefficient cars must pay 200% more.."

    And that car makes 50% more CO2 because CO2 is directly related to fuel burnt! So why is he more than 50% more guilty than the guy with the fuel efficient car?

    Which is better,

    Person A, he drives a fuel efficient car.

    Person B, he drives a 50% more fuel inefficient car, but only drives it half the time?

    It's not 'efficient car usage' you are after, it's a reduction in CO2, which would also include using your existing inefficient car less. My car will last another 10 years, it would be dumb to change it early and the cost would far outweigh any tax benefit in the change. The solution is for me to use my car less, but for that I need to be able to reap the benefit of driving it less, so that money is available for my public transport cost.

    That the cost of running a car (tax + cost due to law+petrol) is very sub linear. You pay a bunch of fixed annual costs which can't be avoided by driving less. So your daily commute may only cost 2 quid in petrol, but it costs 3 quid in fixed costs. Taking the bus will only save you the 2 quid, you'll pay the fixed costs regardless. The carrot part is the money you save by not driving.

    For each stick, there has to be a corresponding carrot.

    To do that they have to shift the fixed annual costs to per mileage, or better still per litre of petrol costs. Since there is a 1:1 correlation between petrol burnt and CO2 emitted.

  55. Niall Wallace

    100mph limit, Easy.

    All you need to do is take a modern engine and mate it to a gear box with gears set so that with the engines rev limit and wheel circumference it won't be able to get past 100mph. Of course this would mean very short time between gear changes while accelerating which because of the gear ratios would be much faster.... So if you cut the top speed of cars it could result in cars being a lot faster at accelerating, more torque steer and potentially more difficult to control.

  56. Mike Lovell

    Car power

    "I'll bet anyone who has a big car hardly ever in fact takes it over 100mph mostly because there's little to nowhere to do it these days becuase of the other traffic and all the speed cameras popping up everywhere"

    I beg to differ, virtually the entire route from the Docklands to Brighton (bar the A2) is one giant speed-camera-free racing course.

    You can easily take your car up to a ton fifty on many of the straight .... Or so I hear. You won't be in the minority if you do!

    Eat my dust Gramps!

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This has nothing to do with CO2 emissions!

    This guy's idea is more likely to do with controlling high speed drivers than it has to do with CO2 emissions.

    It simply will not pass though. It won't fly in quite a few countries. Outside of the UK & Republic of Ireland, they tend to put more emphasis on driver education, skill, enforcement of anti-tail gating rules etc than on speed.

    The nanny state British Isles approach seems to be fixated on speed and unwilling to look at things that really cause problems i.e. poor driving skills, dangerous driving, questionable junction and road layouts etc etc.

  58. Alex

    100 MPH electronic limiter + new car tax.

    Nothing wrong with electronically limiting speed to 100MPH on all new cars in UK I'm sure that would make the M25 & M40 safer late at night , 145mph in Germany. Cars imported / visiting over 14 days need to be adjusted at owners cost.

    Easy way to make cars more fuel efficient, make car purchase tax a sliding scale depending on efficiency. Say 30% for fuel inefficient, 10% for most eco friendly. Emissions and MPG are set by the average of cars sold the previous year, if the improvements become static up the standards.

    i.e.

    emissions 143 MG & 30 mpg pays tax at 30% purchase price.

    emissions 90 MG & 48 mpg pays tax at 10% purchase price.

    You would need a proper standard for working out the MPG.

    Currently we are taxing on emissions on old cars, this encourages people to scrap old cars even if they are serviceable not exactly eco friendly.

  59. John Miller

    The EU Proposal is Moronic; The Comments Here Are Insighful!

    It's always more harmonious to use tax incentives to drive behavior in the desired direction. (as nicely pointed out by Luiz Abdala and others) This will shift the behavior of vast numbers of people, but there are always some people in unique circumstances (unimagined by the legislators) that may have a valid need to do what should presumably be banned. Therefore, they are still able to do so by paying more, and the rest are able to save money by deferring. Government legislators would also do well to take some economics classes to understand markets and the issues of fixed costs vs. variable costs.

    In addition, a petrol tax is elegantly self-enforcing! If someone puts the pedal to the metal, regardless of location, time, speed limits, cameras, or enforcement, they just inescapably used up their own costly and valuable petrol! (with no additional cost to the government for the ubiquitous "enforcement!")

    Just as an ingeniously designed piece of equipment is a thing of beauty, a cleverly designed government policy can achieve it's desired goals gracefully and efficiently without unduly tormenting anyone. In contrast, heavy-handed prohibitions, enacted carelessly based on a simplistic and flawed understanding of the situation torment the public and reduce their quality of life.

    If only someone could figure out a way to elect gifted technocrats instead of "politicians"...

  60. Dillon Pyron

    My Civic

    My Civic gets about 33mpg, with me regularly driving 70-80 mph. I've been to 110 in it.

    I know a number of people with crotch rockets. They get in excess of 50 mpg, but are capable of 125 or more.

    As far as limiting them, Chevy limits the Corvette to 130. Unless you chip mod it.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Climate Change really is an issue...

    I know that no-one wants to hear this, and everyone just loves to prove how stupid politicians are - it's the new sport - but (and I'm going to be a bit serious here, so you jokers will probably just switch off) climate change really is a very worrying subject and if you all actually looked into it rather than just ranting and raving about all the things you enjoy doing so don't want to stop you'd be rightly scared. Whatever anyone wants to believe, CO2 really is a significant causatory factor and it's the only one we can change.

    Please accept the above. Not wanting it to be true doesn't make it not true, I'm afraid. You can of course refuse to believe it if you choose but that just means that you're avoiding reality, ostrich-style. Really.

    On the basis that we should reduce CO2 emissions, for anyone to buy a new vehicle that doesn't minimise CO2 emissions to the maximal degree possible is just crazy behaviour. If we all drove vehicles that did 60+mpg (entirely feasible) then it would have a significant effect on the CO2 emissions of the transport sector. And along with all the other sectors of energy use we should be reducing these emissions as much as possible.

    Because CO2 emissions (along with fuel consumption) increase as the square of the speed a vehicle is travelling at (due to aerodynamic drag), all cars should travel at a reasonable speed (56mph is apparently optimum, but let's say 70mph - oh, that just happens to be the national speed limit!). Given that this is the case the engines they are provided with should be optimised to be sufficient for them to travel at this speed with minimum fuel consumption and their gearing should be designed so that they are maximally efficient at this speed. If this were the case then no car would be able to travel at more than 100mph, and maybe most wouldn't even get near to this speed.

    Of course legislating for this would be practically politically impossible, as people would just cry about personal liberties and all it would take would be for Jeremy Clarkson to start a campaign and everyone would be out on the streets saying "It's my right to kill the World if I want to!". Driving fast in big heavy cars is an addiction that's vastly worse than any drug and many many people have the addiction. Like all addicts they refuse to accept they have a problem until it's too late.

    It's sad, it's tragic, and I know that there will be lots of people posting comments on here insulting this view. But that doesn't stop this from being the truth, and if you don't believe it then quite simply you really should look more deeply into the subject. Try www.realclimate.org for a start, which tries to take a realistic and unsensational approach to the issue.

    Otherwise our future is not going to be worth living through, and we will all have contributed to it happening.

  62. John Latham

    @Climate change bloke

    "Driving fast in big heavy cars is an addiction that's vastly worse than any drug"

    So, having 40 million people burning small quantities of petrol is worse than having them all smoke crack cocaine daily? Did you personally do a comparison before posting your comments?

    People attack fast cars because they are easy targets. No-one likes a flash git, right?

    But I don't see anyone calling for a "maximum house size" law, or to make private swimming pools illegal, or outlaw air travel, or even ban imports from China or Africa. All of these are hugely polluting.

    In a market economy the only way to save energy without just shunting consumption around is to make all of it much more expensive, and let the market sort it out. That hits poor people hardest, but then change always does. We have a progressive tax system to compensate them.

    John

  63. Luke Wells

    Some of us have jobs you know!

    Oh for gods sake!

    Unlike half the bloody liberal do gooders in this coutry, I actually have a job, and that means that I need some form of transport to get to work in.

    I am sick to death of people coming up with new ways to tax cars.

    I HAVE TO USE A CAR TO GET TO WORK

    1) There are no jobs where I live, so I have to commute

    2) There are no houses where I work (the housing prices are rediculous) so I have to live where I live and work where I work

    3) I share my car journey with my girlfriend who also works in the same town

    4) There is NO feasable public transport. It would take 4 hours by a combination of buses and traisn to get where I get in 1 hour in the car.

    5) Even if there was a feasable public transport route, that could get me there in a sensible time, it would be expensive, dirty and smelly, like all public transport round here.

    6) I need to carry things to and from work on a regular basis, so a medium saloon car is a minimum for me.

    7) I drive the most economical medium sized diesel saloon car I could find (and afford) and I will look after it and drive it until it is no longer economical (150-200K miles)

    8) I drive at 56mph on the motorway and get an average "real world" fuel consumtion of 54mpg

    9) I do everything I can to make my daily commute as economical as possible

    .... but there is no getting away fom the fact that I NEED a car, and that every year it becomes harder and harder to be able afford to run a car. I am not alone there are tens of thousands of people in the same situation as me.

    * Road tax keeps increasing (even though less than 1% is spent on the road)

    * Fuel tax is unbelieavable

    * London charges a rediculous amount to enter the congestion charging zone, and other cities are to follow

    * Despite nearly 2 million signatures on the pay as you go road tax petition, at some point in the future it is going to be implemented.

    If fuel tax continues to rise and / or pay as you go road tax comes in, then I am going to give up my job, sit at home watching TV all day and let you liberal idiots pay for me to have a free council house and benefits. I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO GO TO WORK!

    Then there is the fact that EVERYTHING even the most basic essentials like bread and milk will go up in price to unsustainable levels in line with the increased costs to transport it. You can't tell the Hovis delivery man he's going to have to use public transport to take his delivery of bread to Tesco every morning can you?

  64. heystoopid

    Never mind!

    Never mind , when the predicted big oil crash of 2014 cuts in , it all becomes an academic argument!

    For sooth what light in beyond window shines thus? , nay it is but another wanker seeking the fickle elusive green vote!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about caravans killing the planet ...

    ... killing fuel economy all in the name of saving numpty euro-box drivers £30 a night in a Travelodge or B&B.

    Bet most sports cars can get better MPG than any of the usual boring pieces of crap found dragging some plastic (non-biodegradable) piece of portaloo junk.

    As aerodynamic as a shed and cluttering up our roads - it's about time the EU investigated and taxed them off the road!

  66. Aubry Thonon

    Re: Insurance linked to mileage.

    "4. Compulsary 3rd party insurance would be linked to mileage, drive 1000 miles a year, pay 1/10th of someone who drives 10,000 miles a year. Drive less, be rewarded by reduce insurance costs."

    There's one little problem with that: I drive a lot, and my driving skills are pretty good (two accidents, only one at-fault, in 20-odd years). Compare that to a Sunday driver (my favourite is the blue-rinse old ladies taking the Volvo out to play lawn-bowl... <shudder>), drive behind one some day... their road-behaviour is attrocious and they are very likely to cause an accident by that same behaviour (over-cautiousness is just as bad as reckless driving).

    And yet, you would have me pay more for my insurance than one of these idiots? Dream on.

    No, I agree that dropping the price on Car registration (by removing the "road maintenance" levy, for example) and incresing the tax on petrol (and making sure it *is* used to maintain the roads) would be fairer... leave the insurance costs the way it is - based on proven road behaviour (no-claim for almost 20 years, and getting a nice discount because of it, thank-you-very-much)

  67. James Penketh

    Re: $Title

    Anonymous: "Wonder what the response for Germany's MEP will be?"

    "Nein! Dummer Kopf. Erhalten Sie einen f*cking Anhaltspunkt!"

    Heh heh heh...

  68. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    Incentives for smaller engines

    As the dude from Brasil pointed out, incentives for smaller, fuel-efficient cars do better than this stupid 160km/h limitation. (BTW, 160 km/h is 100mph for those who don't use metric ;)

    Here in Mexico City, the local government has recently modified the law concerning environmental regulations. Usually you would have an emissions checkup every 6 months ($$$), and according to the model/engine you would get stickers type 0,1 or 2 for the "day-without-a-car" program (0 is excempt, 1 is free from contingency restrictions, 2 is the worst).

    Starting 2007, any vehicle rated as a very-low emission vehicle will not only receive the 0 sticker, it will get a 6 YEAR excemption from the emissions checkup. So the smaller, fuel-efficient models sales have gone up.

    I have yet to buy a car, but public transportation (trolleybus+subway) is good enough for me right now. When I buy one, I will definitely buy one of the 6 year excempt ones!! (And for the record, they can do over 100mph ;)

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's at time like this...

    ...that I realise quite how much I love living in New Zealand...

  70. Nexox Enigma

    Gearing

    @Niall Wallace:

    If you gear a car such that it will only do 100mph, then you'll be revving rather high to sustain 65 or 70. This is why the over drive gear ratios exist, to get the engine to lower RPM, where it runs more efficiently. Plus assuming you keep the same number of gears, which I think you suggest, and assuming that the transmission was an automatic, or a manual shifted in a casual manner, such short gears would end up keeping you between gears for more time than you had them engaged, thus your assumption about acceleration is not necessarily true.

    @ Anon:

    Most cars are actually geared to be most efficient at a given speed, and it is often not high. Based on data that I've found and my own observations, my GTI is most efficient at about 65-70 mph in 6th. And with that set up, which was most probably intentional, I can still take it to the speed limiter (Assuming I'm feeling ballsy that day...) at 133mph. And that isn't even at redline. You clearly haven't got a great familiarity with internal cumbustion engines, so I'll fill you in on a bit. Most (car, petrol) engines have a torque peak in the 1600-3500 rpm range, which is where the engine can produce the most power. Most engines rev to 6000-8000 RPM. The efficiency peak is not exactly on, but is at least close to the torque peak. Since the car in a given gear has a solid (no slipping or anything) connection between engine and wheels there must be a linear relation between engine rpm and wheel speed.

    That means that if a car is tuned to run at 65 mph at its efficiency peak, it probably has atleast twice that many revs before redline, so (assuming that we aren't talking about drag limited top speed, just rev limited, as that is what you implied in your arguement) you'd be able to hit 130 mph.

    In case anyone is wondering a 2007 GTI will get around 19 mpg at 105 mph.

  71. Mr. EMan

    Random Facts

    Two cars going 60 mph that crash head on (120 mph delta-v) is roughly equivalent to a car hitting a wall at 60 mph. A wall (barrier) does not deform, while another car does.

    The fastest crash test done is 40 mph (64 kph) into an offset deformable barrier. Most manufacturers do not test at higher speeds into a barrier, mostly because the injury numbers would be too high. In other words, they can't guarantee anything above this speed anyway.

    In Germany, there are still a few places on the autobahn without speed limits (and they are typically crowded), but there are some issues with insurance if you have a crash at 100 mph (160 kph). There is/was a "gentlemen's agreement" among some of the manufacturers to limit the speed to 155 mph (250 kph), but Porsche, for example, does not limit its cars.

    The weight in cars affect acceleration, rolling resistance, handling, etc. But cars weigh more today in part due to safety regulations. Remove airbags, pretensioners, reinforcement beams, etc., and you can save weight in a car. Alternatively, you can use more exotic, expensive materials (carbon fiber, magnesium, transparent aluminum/aluminium) to save weight. But to build a car that people will buy, use the following formula:

    Safe / Efficient / Cheap (choose any two)

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So you'd rather do 130mph than 130mpg... hm...

    I can't believe all the people on this forum poo-pooing this. Our engines weigh hundreds of kilos, precisely because they're built to withstand the incredible forces inside them, required to drive at over 100mph.

    Whilst it only probably requires 20-30hp and a wee turbo to pootle around and drive up to 70, (this would be a very lightweight engine probably allowing 150mpg), for some reason, probably best demonstrated by the vehemence on this forum, manufacturers all build their engines to go way, way above 70. It's to do with shifting units, and motorists buying cars essentially because of certain odd acquisitive urges which also see them not mind when their new car loses half its value after a year.

    The ability to legislate about anything is made necessary, by precisely this situation, of thug rule, and an economy geared around the consumption of dangerous and inefficient goods. Why is it you never see cars which will do 150mpg, or even 120, after all these years of development? It's because they all are built to do over 100mph.

    What if our economy and pastimes were built on guns or knives, or military manufactures, like the US, and someone proposed to restrict that? The howls would be identical. I applaud the MEP's statement.

    They say the British (of whom I am one) are a bunch of mugs, who pay over the odds, for dodgy metal, such is their love of cars. QED.

    If it requires legislation to build fuel-efficient cars, which are sorely lacking anywhere, then so be it.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is the EU going to force the US and Japan...

    ... to stop building high-performance sports cars? Are they going to kill the European sports car market and allow the US and Japanese manufacturers a wide open market? Or will they just ban the importation of cars from these countries?

    As for fast cars being heavy - Ariel Atom / KTM X-bow / Caterham Seven / Lotus 2-Eleven (etc.) anyone?

  74. Luke Wells

    150mpg dont make me laugh

    To the poster that said this :-

    "Whilst it only probably requires 20-30hp and a wee turbo to pootle around and drive up to 70, (this would be a very lightweight engine probably allowing 150mpg"

    Now that I have stopped laughing hysterically.... I have some figures for you.

    You know what a "Smart" city coupe is? Surely you have seen those silly looking cars that look like a rollerskate?

    Right, well they have a plastic body, are about the lightest car on the road, they are available with a 599cc engine, in 44 to 61 bhp versions, they have a flat out top speed of 84 (so you could just about say they are cruising at 70mph) ....... and they can achieve ..... are you ready for it .... an amazing 55-57 mpg according to the official manufactureres figures. (between 1 and 3 mpg better then my diesel saloon car that weight twice as much)

    So where do you get this 150mpg from?

    If you are going to build a 150mpg car that is safe, can cruise at 56mph (I dont even need to do 70mph) ... oh and it needs to have a boot that you can fit more then a paperclip in.... then I will be first in line to buy one........

    ...... but you can't make them.... else you would already be selling them for a fortune!

  75. Ash

    What's the problem?

    Riding an 11hp 125cc motorcycle at 70mph is more than bearable.

    Driving a car of a similar weight / power ratio will be no more hassle, and prevent speeding.

    The only vehicles which requires to go faster than 70mph in this country (UK) are the emergency service vehicles.

    I've no problem with being limited to 100mph. I don't do more than 70 now anyway.

  76. Ned Fowden

    i have always wondered

    why do we need to build cars (in the UK) that can exceed 150mph when the national speed limit is 70mph and most area's (where cars are more populace) are 30mph.

    why intentionally build a machine design to break the law ?

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is just stupid

    Limiting cars to 100mph for “green” reasons is just stupid as:

    1 – Very few people actually drive over 100mph so the additional CO2 from people driving above 100mph is very small so the effect from this would be limited

    2 – If you electronically limit cars to 100mph you aren’t going to do much on the green side as people (like myself) will still buy cars with larger engines for the acceleration

    3 – If you limit cars “by design” the problem is likely to get worse. For example if you have a ford fiesta that is currently capable of 105mph, the easiest way to get the car under the 100mph limit would be to alter the gear ratios, this would make the car less efficient at “normal” speeds. The problem obviously gets worse with more powerful cars.

    I can see some reasoning in doing this for safety reasons, but again most accidents occur on rural roads where getting anywhere close to 100mph is simply impossible so the benefit is likely to be negligible.

  78. Vernon Lloyd

    How About

    Rather than limiting speed, they need to make car manufacturers make engines which do a set minimum MPG, say 35 (urban). You watch, they will still make very fast, quick to 60mph and 4x4s just make the engine more efficient.

  79. Mad Mike

    Lard arsed politicians

    If this supposedly intelligent person is so worried about the additional weight causing additional pollution, presumably he should ban people above a certain weight being transported in cars? After all, their additional weight must cause the same? So, people over a BMI of say 27 will officially be classed too fat to transport for environmental reasons and will have to walk everywhere. Whilst walking so much, they will naturally loose weight (probably) and therefore become eligable again. Dear god, I think it actually makes sense.................... Reduces environmental pollution, cuts NHS costs and reduces fat knackers. Result.

    At the same time, all the additional safety devices fitted to cars should be removed to ensure everyone knows any accident will be terminal. That will ensure all those dumb people who do stupid things on the roads will be killed and removed from the gene pool, whilst those sensible and good drivers survive. Natural selection at its very best. At the same time, all the extra weight will be removed and the environmentals will get better again.

    Or, alternatively, he's just a stupid twat.........

  80. Ted Treen

    MEPs & others of that ilk

    Politicians of any sort have but few qualifications: viz, a palpable arrogance that they know best, and an overwhelming desire to boss & nanny everyone else. Could we not ban them from speaking out on anything in which they do not have recognised qualifications or experience?

  81. Mike Smith

    @If it moves, ban it

    "Though I can't help feeling that this eagerness to ban everything that causes him offence doesn't exactly sit well with Mr Davies' self-professed credentials as one who is "liberal" and "democratic", but perhaps I'm just missing something obvious"

    Indeed you are. Remember that in politics, titles have the opposite meaning to that in everyday speech. For example:

    People's Republic = oligarchical dictatorship

    Democratic Republic = Marxist dictatorship

    Republican party = fascist dictatorship

    Labour party = party for pandering to the haves

    Conservative party = change, change and change again, every time there's an R in the month

    You get this idea. So Liberal Democrat = authoritarian killjoy. It's for your own good, citizen.

    Remember, you read it here first :-)

  82. David

    Safety first?

    Those massive brakes are so overengineered, so lets go back to drum brakes! Then lets make the cars out of tin foil because when they travel at 70mph they don't need those overengineered safety cells. No biker ever died at 70mph after all right?

    He appears to be a complete idiot!

    Does he not understand cars designed for 200mph are more aerodynamic hence more efficient than the silly boxes designed for scooting around town *cough* Quashquai *cough* ?

    Then there's the example that something like a Porsche cockster significantly less than the darling of the eco-lobby Prius, with it's 2 tonnes of battery weight.

    In fact nothing in the proposal actually has any logic to it.

  83. This post has been deleted by its author

  84. Michael Corkery

    So...

    * Germany won't want it, as it undercuts their autobahn system.

    * The big companies will oppose it, as it won't be retrospectively applied to existing cars, meaning that new sales will drop.

    * Dangerous drivers will, as they have posted here, disable speed delimiters, although I'd imagine if caught speeding after tampering, they'd face more stiff punishment than points.

    * It won't be popular with upper middle class, who tend to buy prestige cars with more power than they ever use, and we all know their votes are worth more! :)

    * And in the meantime, anyone who tries to buy smaller, more efficient cars like a golf, etc, will face even more price retention. As it stands, prestige saloons drop in value rediculously quickly, as they are valued as new showcars, and depreciate rapidly, while smaller efficient cars retain value longer for more financially sensible city drivers. This law would end up making this worse, so soem peopel would end up opting for saloons they don't need!

    All in all, it will never happen, because it won't fit the whole EU, it's not considered enough to be workable, although a drop off in new car sales would contradict the point some posters make about new cars being more of a carbon footprint than the lifetime of use of an existing one - older cars would stay in circulation longer as they'd not be limited.

  85. Russell Sakne

    Legislation to build fuel-efficient cars

    If you bothered to read the responses you'd se cogent argument as to why top-limiting isn't any such thing.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The EU Proposal is Moronic; The Comments Here Are Insighful!

    Just to respond to that comment :

    This NOT an EU proposal, it's one MEP (Member of the European Parliament) mouthing off!

    If the BNP or the Monster Raving Loonies make some insane comment in the House of Commons it doesn't make it a British Government Proposal or UK policy!

    Please stop slagging off the entire EU every time some MEP makes a stupid statement entirely on his/her own behalf.

  87. Richard Owen

    What would cut more CO2 than proposed here...

    Would be to get Mr Chris Davies to stop talking s*$%....

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Climate change bloke

    "But I don't see anyone calling for a 'maximum house size' law ..."

    Both in Germany and Austria, legislation is looking at passive houses. Social housing, for example, would be required to be built as passive houses. This is just the beginning. For your interest, passive houses cut the energy requirements for space heating by 80%.

    "... or even ban imports from China ..."

    There was a discussion in France (during the presidential elections) of an ecotax.

    Clearly, legislation should not look at transport only. And they don't.

  89. Nick Collingridge

    Efficiency

    Amazing how those who don't understand climate change are the first to be rude, insulting, or just incapable of expressing themselves in good English.

    It's not worth spending the time to address thoroughly all of the misguided points made above, but for David, who is very quick to say that someone is a complete idiot (although it's not clear who exactly he's referring to), I'll address the question of efficiency.

    Firstly you need to define what you mean by efficiency. Aerodynamic drag is only one very narrow measure of efficiency. Motor vehicles are primarily devices to transport people from one place to another. So a more reasonable measure of efficiency might be how much raw energy (in the form of fuel) needs to be provided to the device in order to achieve this.

    I am not aware of any vehicle that can transport four or more people from one place to another AND travel at 200mph yet deliver a fuel consumption figure of even 20mpg, let alone 60mpg which is entirely feasible if the right design criteria are pursued. So by this broader measure a 200mph vehicle cannot be considered to be efficient, no matter how areodynamic it might be.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank God for that...

    Its a Lib-Dem MP proposing this, thank heaven for a moment I thought we might need to take this seriously!

  91. Danny Thompson

    Isn't it about time that we had the ......

    ....... "If it saves one life it will be worth it" argument that has been used to justify just about anything and everything being banned?

    Fortunately, the Lib-Dem are too off the radar to be taken seriously by anyone except their own mothers. Let's see who else will go for this .... Germany? Nope. France? Nope (they'll do what Germany tell them to). Italy? Errrrr, nope.

    Next!

  92. gaz

    petrol

    why not support chip fat or bio diesel? Oh because the government makes to much money out of petrol.

  93. James Burton

    LibDem's aren't seeming Liberal or Democratic here

    This is not a policy that is based on liberal ideals, as it seeks to restrict options and freedom of choice. This is not the majority opinion, so it fails to be a democratic decision either. Surely with a party called "Liberal Democrats" we should be able to expect our MPs and MEPs to at least try to include one or the other aspect of the party policy. As it stands I feel they are becoming less liberal, and less democratic, and in doing so are alientating the core supporter base. I have chosen to not renew my party membership due to the current leader and such policies because they do not seem to favour the policies the party is supposed to stand for, and recent lost poll percentages show I am not the only disillusioned person.

  94. James Burton

    60 vs 60, not so clear cut

    someone commented this :- "hitting a car, head on, at 60mph, which is also doing 60mph, is the same as hitting a wall at 120mph"

    Ummm, no.

    If both cars weigh the same then it's exactly the same as a 60mph crash. Both cars go from sixty to zero in a very short time.

    If one is twice as heavy as the other then it will be like a 40mph crash for that car and an 80mph crash for the other."

    -----------------

    .... Well, a 60mph car hitting a solid, immovable object will decelerate from 60-0 within the space of it's own crumple zones. A 60mph car hitting a semi-movable car may actually accelerate the stationary vehicle up to somewhere between 0 and 30 mph in the same direction as the moving vehicle, 30mph exactly if the same weight and considering conservation of momentum. You can also add in the fact that the 2nd vehicle should have crumple zones too to reduce the harm. 2 vehicles colliding with each other at 60mph will be equivalent to hitting an unmovable object for each of them at the same speed if they are the same mass, and if you have the heavier car then your momentum will reduce your deceleration and reduce your harm from the impact. The sense of self-preservation will make a heavier car seem preferable here. If we really want to limit the harm involved then we should discuss maximum impact forces, so weight the speed alongside the mass to give a relative scale that allows tiny, light, efficient vehicles to be amazingly fast because their momentum is kept down, where a articulated lorry doing 40 will plough through many smaller on-coming vehicles for the same reason. Unless our ministers consider policy based on science though, we will chase one illusion after another.

  95. Jeremy Wickins Silver badge

    Climate change, CO2 and human activity

    Oh, boy, am I sick of the climate change lobby! There IS almost certainly climate change happening - that is what climates do. If you want to stop it, get rid of the atmosphere. CO2 may or may not make a difference - the graphs can be interpreted several ways, at least one suggesting that CO2 *follows* climate change, rather than causing it. In any case, the anti- technology brigade seem to keep missing out that life on Earth has survived, and indeed flourished, in far higher atmospheric levels which had no relation to technology because humans hadn't come close to evolving yet (leaving aside the possibility of other tech-developing species which are now our lizard masters, a theory that holds as much water as the man-made climate change argument).

    However, let's pose this challenge to the climate changers - if you lived about 11000 years ago, would you be for banning the use of fire, or spears, or (insert relevant stone age tech here) because the climate was changing, the ice sheet was retreating,and there weren't as many mammoth, woolly rhinos, sabre tooth tigers, (insert favoured species here)? Why is climate change bad, whatever the cause? There is conservatism, there is rank stupidity, and there are the lunatics that have taken over the asylum.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We ARE causing climate change this time

    Jeremy Wickins - climate change IS happening and we ARE contributing very significantly to it - grow up and face up to it. The sceptic lobby is just like a bunch of spoiled children - we want to be able to drive our fast, heavy inefficient cars, travel by plane as much as we want to, not bother to insulate our houses properly etc etc. It's all Want Want Want to the point that people persuade themselves that there isn't a problem.

    Just look into the issue in enough detail and you'll find out how solid the science is and how weak are the bleats of the sceptics. The fact that you trot out that old warhorse about CO2 coming after the increase in temperature in the past proves that you haven't looked into the issue in any detail at all, so your views are just not worth considering.

    One simple thing that you should consider is the unprecedented speed at which temperatures are rising. The Earth hasn't seen this before and the sceptic lobby avoid this factor by simply ignoring what's happened over the past ten years or so.

  97. Matthew

    RE: We ARE causing climate change this time

    OK, it is happening, and OK we *could* be responsible. But people *have* to get to work and often don't have alternatives. Fact: nobody chooses to drive into central London in the rush hour if there is a similarly-priced faster alternative. Environmentalism rarely comes into the top five reasons for such decisions.

    'The 'sceptic lobby' are mostly realists: we don't see why the targets aren't the big numbers first. What about a regime change in China to force closure of those new-twice-weekly coal fired power stations for example? Or perhaps you can think of other big-polluting three letter countries with a don't-care attitude?

    The view seems to be "Hey look! I've stopped a few Europeans from exceeding 100mph! And that's saved a negligible amount of CO2 which is totally negated by the actions of countries who couldn't care less."

    There is no point in arsing about claiming to be 'saving the planet' unless the *global* effect is an improvement.

    Perhaps your disregard for sceptics could be backed up with definitive proof as to how the actions of a few cars restricted to below 100mph might save the world, when the worst polluting nations are responsible for thousands of times more CO2 (and ever-increasing) than would ever be saved.

  98. Dave

    Another liberal idiot

    Who wishes us to do as he says, not as he does.

    A bit like Charles Kennedy (Scottish Alcoholic ex leader of the Lib-dems) telling us to give up drink, and not to smoke on trains

  99. Alfred Riccomi

    Reducing auto speed to inprove fuel milage

    The simplest and least expensive way to reduce the speed at which new autos will be driven is to remove the driver-side airbag while retaining the explosive charge that would deploy it, and replace the airbag with a sharp spear pointed directly at the driver's chest. All other methods will be unsuccessful, because most people will drive as fast as they can as often as they can do so.

    Regardless of what is done -- if anything is done at all -- I'll keep my old car, thank you.

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