Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

The Death Spiral

UK to Ban Gas and Diesel Vehicles by 2040

Her Majesty’s Government plans to ban the sale of new gasoline (petrol) and diesel-burning vehicles in the United Kingdom by 2040.

The ban is part of the government’s “Clean-Air Plan;” which is designed to address Britain’s growing air-pollution problem, The Guardian reported. The ban will cover hybrids as well as internal-combustion engine only automobiles.

The UK is one of several European countries struggling with terrible air quality; largely because of the popularity of diesel cars. France’s government announced a similar plan earlier this year.

Britain Spending Big to Clean up the Air

The British are experimenting with a number of means of cleaning up the air including reprogramming stoplights to ease traffic congestion.

Another “solution” is being tried in London where the government is imposing a £10 ($13.05) “t-charge” on the oldest and modest polluting vehicles every weekday. The t stands for toxic in an effort to demonize older cars.

Her Majesty’s Government is also letting local governments declare “Clean Air Zones (CAZ)” in which polluting vehicles can face higher taxes. Such drastic measures are being taken because air pollution might be killing up to 40,000 of Her Majesty’s subjects every year, according to the government.

There are also plans for a “green bus fund,” and for the government to spend £1.2 billion ($1.57 billion) to promote bicycling; £100 million ($130.51 million) on quality on the roads, and £290 million ($272.76 million) to promote the use of low-emission taxi cabs. There are also plans to spend £1 billion ($1.31 billion) on low-emission vehicles and £100 million ($1.31 million) on charging infrastructure for electric cars.

The Electric Mini Cooper is Coming in 2019

Not coincidently plans for an electric model of one of Britain’s most iconic cars were announced at the same time. BMW Group (OTC: BMWYY) plans to bring out an electric version of the ever popular Mini Cooper.

The electric Mini will be a variant of the company’s standard three-door model, Tech Crunch reported. The electric Mini will be built in Oxford with drivetrains from Landshut and Dingolfing in Bavaria.

BMW is also bringing out a plug-in Hybrid model of the Mini Countryman Estate Car (Station Wagon to Americans). The Countryman would be perfect for BMW’s ReachNow Ride short-term rental and ridesharing service being tested in Brooklyn and Portland, Oregon.

It looks as if now might be a good time to consider selling your oil stocks. The market for petroleum might be greatly diminished in a few years and gone within a couple of decades.