Yesterday we reported about Porsche's concerns that the move will be detrimental for London as a city and that the scheme is simply a publicity stunt before the mayoral elections to boost Ken Livingstone's status as an environmental crusader. While Porsche's concerns are somewhat legitimate, a spokesperson from Livingstone's office has quite dramatically stated that Porsche's move is "a double attack on Londoners." The press release went on to say that Porsche was attempting to remove the "democratic rights of Londoners", even though the request of a judicial review of government legislation is a fundamental democratic right. The press release concluded with the assertion that "no one is allowed to throw their rubbish in the street and Porsche should not be allowed to impose gas guzzling polluting cars on Londoners who do not want them". On May 1 the upcoming mayoral elections will eventually show whether Londoners are fans of Livingstone's brash attitude towards motorists.
The scheme implemented by Livingstone has been designed with sports cars and SUV's in mind however there have been suggestions that the scheme will have little effect on overall emissions and that a greater focus on commercial pollution is needed. Sports car manufacturers will be hard hit by legislation such as this - especially Porsche, which only produces sports cars in relatively small volumes and thus relies on established markets to maintain profit. While Porsche is working on hybrid versions of the 4-door Panamera and the Cayenne, these vehicles are slated for a 2009 release at the earliest and prospective buyers would think twice about a £25 fee every time they drove through central London.