Should petrol and diesel cars be banned from cities?

This would build on a proposal to ensure 50 per cent of all vehicles in Europe would have zero tailpipe CO2 emissions – these would of course include electric vehicles and possibly even hydrogen fuel cell cars.

The move, which has been proposed by the European Commission’s Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, is a controversial one, and has caused plenty of debate since the announcement.

On the one hand, Kallas argues it would reduce congestion in our already overcrowded city centres, cut down our reliance on oil by as much as 60 per cent and cut CO2 emissions to extremely low levels.

However, Ford has hit back at the proposals through Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe.

He said: "While expanding the number of electric vehicles could help with our shared goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions depending on how the electricity is generated, it will not help us tackle the issue of urban congestion.

"This situation will best be resolved through a sensible debate on how to improve the road network and other aspects of the road infrastructure in urban areas as part of a holistic discussion on transport policy,"

Other criticisms include the lack of free choice for motorists and the lack of a similar policy for city centre airports and other forms of transport such as buses.

However, it also stands to reason in 39 years the price of petrol and diesel will be much higher than today as supplies become more depleted.

Electric technology will have had several years to be developed and we can expect to see many cars on the road with electric powertrains – or a breakthrough in the currently expensive and untested hydrogen technology.

At Perrys dealerships we’ve already seen keen interest in the first two electric cars to be sold on our forecourts, the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn, and this interest is expected to rise as more models arrive.

The extended-range electric Ampera , Renault Fluence Z.E. and Renault Zoe Z.E. will provide even more options to buyers of electric cars and we anticipate rising road tax charges for CO2 emitting cars and extra costs such as the London congestion charge will increase the chances customers will choose an electric car for city driving.

While the proposals may be a little extreme, it may be that electric or alternatively fuelled cars have a large enough market share by 2050 that the debate nearly 40 years earlier becomes irrelevant.

You can book a test drive of one of our electric cars here