As I would hope everyone is aware in the past the Labour Government encouraged the purchase of diesel cars via tax advantages both in fuel costs and road tax costs. This was because of the genuine benefit of reduced CO2 emissions but ignored the obvious increase in particulates and perhaps less obvious increase in NO2.
(This is not an anti Labour rant, all politicians are equally bad.)
It should have been obvious to anyone - merely by looking at the exhaust of a diesel car, I have seen some pumping out such thick clouds of filth that you would believe they ran on coal let alone diesel.
The disadvantages of diesel have been obvious for years so I have little sympathy for people who have bought them in the last ten years. Especially as you still see PARENTS parked outside schools with their DIESEL engines running all the time. Scientific reports have also shown that pollution is worse inside rather than outside a car. See https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/12/children-risk-air-pollution-cars-former-uk-chief-scientist-warns
So is the Government making a similar mistake with electric cars?
How so you may ask? After all electric cars are inherently zero emissions. True enough but Electric Vehicles use lithium batteries. As anyone who has a mobile phone or laptop or similar electronic device i.e. everyone knows the LITHIUM batteries in those electronic devices have a finite life span. I would suggest an average of three years but some last a lot less and some last longer.
This means that your very expensive electric car even with a Government subsidy is going to cost you a huge amount after a few years ownership to replace the batteries. We are talking THOUSANDS of pounds per car. Once people realise this the secondhand values are going to plummet - possibly more than is happening currently with diesels.
Does this mean we should stick with petrol or worse diesel cars? Of course not.
What it does mean is that electric cars are at best a very short term fix. The proper fix (in the absence of a radical improvement in battery technology) would be the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cells. These like electric cars are zero emission, they only emit water. Also unlike electric cars you can refuel in the same time as a traditional petrol, diesel or LPG car, i.e. minutes rather than hours.
Unfortunately all governments consist of technical illiterates. (Typically they are failed lawyers and bankers or worse career politicians.)
Sadly chief executives at both motor manufacturers and oil companies are little if any better. They have taken the 'easy' path and are focussing on electric vehicles. This is particularly stupid on the part of the oil companies. If the oil companies assisted in the take up of hydrogen as a fuel then it would fit extremely well with their existing infrastructure unlike electric charging. They would be able to make hydrogen at 'refineries', distribute in tankers and then sell via former petrol station forecourts. It is not despite what these oil CEOs may think practical to convert petrol stations to electric recharging stations, you would have queues of cars for miles and miles.
(Actually hydrogen might not be made from natural gas which is apparently the current main source but the electrolysis of water potentially from renewable electric sources, see https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-processes
There is also a second major flaw with the rush to electric vehicles. At least here in the UK and I am sure a fair proportion in other western countries many vehicle owners live either in terraced houses or flats with no off street parking that can reach to their home. This means the only place they could recharge an electric vehicle at is at one of the handful of commercial recharging points. Even in London these are rarer than hens teeth. You also have to pay to park and charge at these points. This then precludes the possibility of using any solar panels on your home to charge your own car. (The proposal to convert lamp posts to charging points is another dead end, there are far fewer lamp posts than cars.)
With hydrogen you just would pop down to your local supermarket, do the shopping and fill up at the neighbouring 'petrol' station.
If as much effort was put in to hydrogen fuel cell technology as has been in to electric vehicles this would all have been sorted by now. All the technical issues for hydrogen fuel cells have been sorted it is merely a matter of getting costs down and building the distribution infrastructure. There are even some cars available in the UK and a few petrol stations that also sell hydrogen. See - https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/buying-and-selling-guides/hydrogen-cars/
Disclaimer: I am not in the motor industry, I have no links to any fuel companies - hydrogen or otherwise.