”Clear biofuels policy needed” says motor industry

20 July 2004 #SMMT News

‘Clear biofuels policy needed’ says motor industry

Government urgently needs a clear and well defined sustainable fuels policy with financial incentives to boost the use of biofuels. That is the message from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in its response to the Department for Transport consultation on biofuels.

With biodiesel currently costing 4p more per litre than diesel, Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, commented, ‘There is no current incentive to stimulate consumer demand. The industry can deliver the technology but it is up to government to give a clear lead for the future. Unless government increases fuel duty differentials, biofuels will never be seen as a long term alternative.’

Confusing messages are hampering the industry’s desire to make progress and clarification is needed on where biofuels policy sits in government thinking. There should be a clear decision on where the issue of biofuel fits in terms of UK agricultural policy, UK transport policy or in the wider context of sustainable development.

SMMT reminds government that the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership has successfully engaged all stakeholders in discussing future technologies and strategies. Vehicles are already capable of using biofuels in a blend of up to five per cent which removes the need for new investment in infrastructure.

Notes to editors

1. The consultation paper, Towards a UK Strategy for Biofuels, sought views on government plans to implement the EU Biofuels Directive.

2. The EU Biofuels Directive aims to reduce life-cycle emissions of carbon dioxide from transport across Europe, and to reduce the EU’s future reliance on oil. Government must transpose the Directive into UK law by the end of this year.

3. The DfT has already reported to the Commission that the UK target for biofuel sales in 2005 is 0.3 per cent of total road fuel sales.

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