UK Daily Mail 
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Gordon Brown wants to see petrol-driven cars off the roads within 12 years as evidence that Britain can break its addiction to oil.
The Prime Minister, hailing a climate change agreement by world leaders at the G8 summit in Japan yesterday, insisted all new vehicles could be powered by electric or hybrid engines by 2020.
The driving force to achieve that goal, he suggested, would be fuel costs and road taxes.
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But the argument that soaring oil prices could benefit drivers in the long term appeared a high-risk strategy at a time when motorists are suffering like never before.
Mr Brown also risked further alienating drivers with a robust defence of higher road tax charges for vehicles with higher emissions – and zero rates for cleaner cars.
That will be seen as a signal that Labour plans for more vehicle excise duty rises on larger cars – thought to have been dumped – are still on the Government’s agenda.
Mr Brown added that he would like to see petrol prices drop to ‘a reasonable level’, but the AA warned his comments could bring a backlash from drivers.
‘Motorists are already suffering from very high prices. This just piles on the pain,’ said spokesman Paul Watters.