When we consider the harm caused to people’s health as a result of vehicle emissions (in particular diesel fumes) it is no surprise that this government plans to ban the sale of all new petrol or diesel-powered cars and vans by 2040. In built-up areas, even here in Cornwall, air quality can be poor and we will need to take all measures available to combat harmful emissions before long 2040.
Something the Government has committed to funding local councils to take action on. Returning to the ban, sales today of electric cars make up just 1% of the market and the ban of new petrol or diesel-powered cars and vans will have a fairly immediate effect, driving production and demand for electric cars, bringing the price down and boosting the number of charging points. For Cornwall it’s a matter of watch this space. Will the ban lead to Cornish lithium extraction taking off? Will we leap forward once again in the generation of renewable energy using our roof-tops to power the car on our drive? Cornish Lithium recently announced plans to extract lithium from brine contained in hot springs believing, as the carbon-fuel ban would suggest, that the time is right for the creation of a new lithium extraction industry for Cornwall.
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery consumption is driving demand for lithium and Cornish Lithium has secured the rights to explore for and commercially develop lithium and the geothermal energy contained in the Cornish hot springs. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries need charging (at a cost drivers can afford) and we must find a way to support residents with the costs of erecting photovoltaic panels on our roofs without hiking the energy costs of others not in a position to have these. My view is that, where possible and appropriate, every roof space including agricultural buildings, schools, industrial units and homes should have the opportunity to erect photovoltaic panels. At the moment we do not have the storage capacity or the demand but Cornish Lithium and electric cars could resolve this. With a ban on carbon fuel-powered cars could Cornwall seize the day?