Back in 2007 when the European Commission was trying to agree a law that would force car makers to produce less-polluting cars, I saw first hand how car manufacturers tried every trick in the book to stop it being passed.
This included telling politicians that car companies couldn’t make the cuts needed because cars would become ‘unaffordable’ if the law was passed. As a result of their lobbying the law was significantly weakened and its implementation delayed by several years.
Now we have absolute proof that this scare story was unfounded.
A report out today exposes how car companies like Volkswagen have misled us over their ability to make their cars cleaner.
Not only are most car makers meeting their targets ahead of time but instead of car prices rising in the period since the car efficiency law was passed, car prices have actually gone down by 2.4% per year.
As we gear up to negotiations on a new car efficiency target for car makers I fully expect more of the same misleading tactics from VW and their allies. And with more seats than any other company on the powerful EU car lobby group ACEA, VW have the most powerful voice in Europe on this issue. Our job is to make sure that this time round, the politicians don’t listen to them.