Why can’t we get the cars we want to drive? My children, newly qualified, want something like a Fiesta or a Corsa. I want an estate car to move dogs, household goods and camping and holiday stuff.
Responding to climate change will require cars with a smaller carbon footprint, producing less pollution over their lifecycle and fitting into existing infrastructure in terms of parking and garages.
So, the current arms race to sell ever bigger and heavier cars seems idiotic at best, criminal at worst.
In 2022, over 16 per cent of UK car sales were for electric cars, driven by business and fleet customers buying Teslas. But small cars, such as the Corsa, Ford Puma and Fiesta, even the new Mini and the Golf filled five of the ten top spots for car sales overall.
Where are the small electric cars? There is clearly demand for small cars that is not catered for by the electric cars being built today. There are some small EVs but the prices are eye-watering.
Meanwhile estate cars seem to have been abandoned across the market. SUVs have been promoted so heavily that the increase in numbers has completely reversed the reductions in emissions delivered by the electric cars that have been sold so far.
Why do the car manufacturers get to tell me that ‘You want an SUV’? I very definitely don’t.
I want a car that fits in a parking space and on my drive. I want seats that fold flat and a level loading gate. I want options for a small or larger estate car. I also want it to be electric.
I don’t believe any argument that says the car companies don’t make money on small electric cars. Are they commercially incompetent?
In the past it has taken Skoda and Daewoo, building safe, affordable cars, to interrupt their attempts to push the market prices ever-higher. Is everyone waiting for the Chinese and the Indian manufacturers to step in?
Let’s be blunt: this is a dangerous and cynical collusion by a cartel of car manufacturers to increase profits at the expense of motorists and the planet.
It's not outrageous to say that the endless campaigns to get us out of our cars, walking and cycling in all weathers and all states of health show that our leaders have capitulated to this cartel.
We desperately need clear regulations that limit the size and kerb weights (and hold down prices) of cars, and reclassify specialist vehicles so it makes no sense to drive a truck on the school run.
There are stark options here: we can all continue to have cars that evolve over time to have small carbon footprints, or in future personal cars will be the preserve of a happy, wealthy minority, all of them huge trucks that look down on us poor, toiling cyclists.
It’s time to call foul on the car companies and subject them to a lot more scrutiny of the motives behind their glossy marketing.