The lure of cure-alls: the electric car and Brexit

Wormald, John (2021) The lure of cure-alls: the electric car and Brexit. Birmingham City University, Centre for Brexit Studies Blog.

The lure of cure-alls.pdf - Published Version

Download (145kB)


40 years ago the US government, faced with an oil embargo and unable to control demand for gasoline via taxation, forced a radical downsizing of cars upon Detroit through the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations. The government in effect imposed designs (replacing traditional American large rear wheel drive cars built on a frame with much smaller front wheel drive ones using a unit body) and thus placed the burden of change on the supply side. This did not in the end help its automotive industry: half of US consumers accepted smaller cars but deserted to more reliable and cheaper Asian volume brands and to premium European manufacturers. Nor did it do much to cut fuel consumption: the other half of the market took refuge in gas-guzzling pick-up trucks, SUVs and vans, not subject to the same constraints and protected by a 25% import tariff. The US is far the largest market for these but its products are barely exportable. Detroit thus started on a long retreat from the global passenger car market, together with many US components suppliers.

Item Type: Other
16 August 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Centre for Brexit Studies, CBS, Brexit, BCU, EU, European Union, UK, Birmingham City University, UK Government, UK politics
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-03 - politics > CAH15-03-01 - politics
Divisions: Research, Innovation, Enterprise and Professional Services > Centre for Brexit Studies
Depositing User: Alex De Ruyter
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 16:26
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 16:26

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...