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Its official – no more Petrol/Diesel vehicles from 2040 in the U.K. & France

It will indeed be a sad day for the ‘Internal Combustion’ engine that held sway from the turn of the 20th Century – a run of 145 to 155 years respectively to 2040, when Gottlieb Daimler invented the prototype of the modern gasoline engine in 1885 and Rudolf Diesel patented the first Diesel engine in 1895. Well the ‘death sentence’ has been passed or die has been cast and in a mere 23 years from now, expect their demise due to the advent of the cutting-edge Electric Vehicle [EV]. A bitter pill to swallow for most petrol-heads, yours truly included, that the so far brilliant and much sought-after petrol/diesel fuel propelled engines are coming to a dead halt!


China too follows suit and is planning to ban petrol and diesel cars!

Significantly, China wants more electric cars on the road to fight pollution. China, the world's biggest car market, plans to ban the production and sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans. The country's Vice Minister of industry Xin Guobin said it had started "relevant research" but that it had not yet decided when the ban would come into force.  "Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our car industry's development, "Xin Guobin has said.


China made 28 million cars last year, almost a third of the global total

Like I said in my earlier ‘Snippet’ Both the UK and France have already announced plans to ban new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040, as part of efforts to reduce pollution and carbon emissions; whilst Chinese-owned carmaker Volvo said in July that all its new car models would have an electric motor from 2019. Geely, Volvo's Chinese owner, aims to sell one million electric cars by 2025.


China is dead serious about EV

Volvo has announced plans to go electric across the board. Other global car firms including Renault-Nissan, Ford and General Motors are all working to develop electric cars in China. Automakers are jostling for a slice of the growing Chinese market ahead of the introduction of new rules designed to fight pollution. China wants electric battery cars and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicle sales by 2025. The proposals would require 8% of automakers' sales to be battery electric or plug-in hybrids by next year, rising to 12% in 2020. Xin predicted the change would create "turbulent times" in the industry. The shift will also have a knock-on effect on oil demand in influential China. The country is currently the world's second-largest oil consumer after the US. China is BIG, period!


Volkswagen too announced EV plans

According to BBC today [12 September] as many as 30 models of VW will be totally electric by 2030 – that’s just 13 years from now! So brace yourselves you Hot Rods for the ‘Silent Revolution’ – EVs are set to conquer the asphalt at least in developed nations!


India says NO to autonomous cars!

Bravo India! Sanity at last in this part of the ‘chaotic world’ has prevailed and India has affirmed via commonsensical decision not to have autonomous cars there. How on earth can one program autonomous cars in backdrop of mad cows, rabid dogs and lunatic Jaywalkers?? The reason adduced by Indian authorities is that “autonomous cars will impact jobs for professional drivers”. On the other side of the coin, even salaried drivers are mowing down pedestrians by the hundreds each month where a concept of proper ‘Traffic Management’ is a foreign term to most!


Sri Lanka could be a petrol heads paradise in the future

With these bans on petrol/diesel driven cars come 2040 our island could be beacon for petrol heads yearning for all the thrills of driving a real man’s car! So you Tourism Industry Bigwigs look at this as another business opportunity to lure those red blooded men and adventure loving women to do their ‘self-drives’ in a petrol or diesel car and see the myriad sights this paradise nation has to offer those thrill seekers now being sanitized by ‘Clean Air’!


New hefty fines of Rs 25K are long overdue

Well done! ‘Snippets’ has advocated this for eons that there has to be deterrent punishment for ALL road users to ensure that our roads are relatively safe for all drivers, passengers and pedestrians.  Yet these proposed fines appear to be ‘Driver / Rider Centric – what about other road users who directly or indirectly contribute to traffic collisions? Be observant!


What about Jaywalkers?

Indeed this has morphed into a national headache! Some years ago  dire warnings were issued by this Police Station and that – that Jaywalkers would be fined by vigilant cops – like everything else the heat against Jaywalkers only lasted a month or two and then it was ‘business as usual! ‘Snippets’ had virtually pleaded that most of our Pedestrian Crossings are poorly illuminated during night and could barely be noticed during day light too! Also don’t those responsible ever have a sense of responsibility to ensure that Pedestrians crossings be safely located and never near road bends or at bus stops etc? Yet no one appears to care a rap! And in the meantime, Jaywalkers are having a field day crossing or darting across here there and everywhere but at Pedestrian Crossings! Crazy indeed!


What about fining those doing U-Turns against traffic on same lane?

Such moronic acts create traffic to be gridlocked for kilometers; yet Traffic Police seem blind to these regular antics by lazy drivers who have made it a practice like Tuk-Tuk Johnnies to do U-Turns wherever they feel like it! Illegal U-Turns no doubt contribute to perhaps One Third of Traffic Snarls, seriously! Come on Mr. DIG Traffic you’ve only got to BAN drivers/riders from doing U-turns from say 01st November like the way the Government issued a Gazette Notification banning the use of non-degradable Polythene from 01st Sept!


What about speeding in from a By-Lane slap bang into traffic with nary a pause?

It’s not only monster bus and truck drivers who are guilty of terrorizing drivers/riders who are lawfully moving along traffic but even others who follow the brainless bullies who think nothing about maintaining same speed when joining a main road from a By-Road, compelling those on main highway to swerve and brake  to avoid a Traffic Accident with its usual twisted metal, blood and gore and tragic loss of life.


That accident in Batugedera, Ratnapura where 03 perished

Cocooned in a Maruti Alto 800 – Please note: NCAP crash tests failed it and it showed! Some of the most popular small cars sold in India, including Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano and Hyundai i10 have failed crash tests, showing high risk of life-threatening injuries in road accidents, according to Global NCAP.According to tests done by Global NCAP, an independent charity based in the U.K. focused on consumer-orientated vehicle safety initiatives, these cars received zero for adult protection ratings in a frontal impact at 64 km/hour.


Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley said

“Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other parts of the world.” India is now a major global market and production centre for small cars, so it was worrying to see levels of safety that were 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America, he added. According to the findings, in Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano and Hyundai i10, the vehicle structures proved inadequate and collapsed to varying degrees, resulting in high risks of life-threatening injuries to the occupants. “The extent of the structural weaknesses in these models was such that fitting airbags would not be effective in reducing the risk of serious injury,” it said.


Global NCAP said it also assessed the same models against the UN’s basic crash test of 40 per cent offset frontal impact test at 56 km/hour, now widely applied by major manufacturing countries and regions, including Australia, China, the European Union, Japan and Malaysia. “All but one of the cars tested failed to pass even this minimum standard,” it said. So drive a Maruti Alto 800, Tata Nano or Hyundai i10 at your peril – as they have all failed NCAP Crash Tests. And it showed in the photos of that terrible crash of an ‘Alto 800’ recently at Batugedera, Ratnapura where 03 persons in one family were tragically killed.


Then and Now! Kudos to Government authorities for repairing the broken road culvert that was blocking road drainage (refer Snippets of July 2017). We are humbled that your favourite Motor magazine is taken seriously and prompt action taken.


TIP: have sufficient sleep before doing that 6 hour drive; stop and take a break every 02 hours; it pays! Learn to be patient and courteous on the road – as it is infectious – others will follow! Cheers! Dyan

Your valuable feedback is most welcome: dyans@sltnet.lk or dyan.sene@gmail.com