Following the UK government’s environmental conservation plans towards a net-zero carbon emissions economy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to impose a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. This ban is set to happen within a decade; in 2030. It comes five years earlier than what was initially planned. At the inception of these environmental conservation plans, the UK government planned on phasing out of diesel and petrol cars by 2040. However, after a series of meetings and talks, in February 2020, the involved parties changed it to 2035, and now Johnson is expected to bring it forward to 2030. The accelerated rate of technological advancements, the urgency to act, and environmental policy changes are some of the driving forces contributing to changes in the set years.
The use of electric vehicles (EVs) has been on a steady rise in the UK over the past couple of years. This rise follows the government’s plans to curb environmental pollution by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from petrol and diesel cars. Additionally, they owe their increasing use to their convenience, reliability and unique touch of style. In addition, EVs receive incentives from the UK government because they reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is in line with government plans. Therefore, there has been an increase in the production of different electric vehicles to cater to their growing demand among UK residents. Most people now view EVs as a good alternative to traditional diesel and petrol-powered vehicles.
There is more to learn about the phasing out of traditional fuel-powered vehicles from the UK automotive market. Electric vehicles will not only become a game changer in the automotive industry but will also have a huge impact on the economy and way of living. In the meantime, here is all you need to know about these electric cars that will become the new face of the UK.
What are Electric Vehicles
An electric vehicle is a car run by one or more electric motors. Rather than burning fuel to produce energy, it uses the energy stored in rechargeable batteries.
Advantages of Electric Vehicles
This new model of vehicles has numerous advantages, which include;
This is the main idea behind the phasing out of fuel-powered cars. EVs do not emit any greenhouse gases from the combustion of fuel. Therefore, they help in keeping the environment clean. Additionally, you can charge them using renewable solar energy to support the going green government plan.
Lower running costs
Owners of EVs enjoy reduced running costs. For example, the electricity used to charge an EV can run the car a third per kilometre more than running it on diesel or petrol.
Cheaper to maintain
EVs lack many moving parts compared to traditional diesel or petrol cars, such as exhaust systems, radiators and fuel injection systems. Electric vehicles rely on rechargeable batteries. Though their batteries wear out, creating the need for replacement, they can last for up to 8 years. Therefore, they require little maintenance, which is also less expensive.
Most EVs come with advanced features for enhanced safety. For example, they have a lower centre of gravity, which reduces their chances of rolling over and causing accidents. Additionally, their material is robust, making them safer in a collision.
Although this ban will help achieve the plans of having a low carbon economy, critics have their side of view. These critics base their argument primarily on the fact that the UK’s infrastructure has a limited number of public charging systems to cater to EVs’ anticipated influx.
In response to this, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) voiced their concerns to the government to increase their support towards meeting the net-zero emissions target plans. The UK government responded by doubling the EV charge fund allocation. This government funding aimed to finance the construction of additional charging spots to improve the EV uptake, especially in the urban areas. The government also suggested that a certain percentage of the funding be used to develop a publicly accessible EV charging monitoring system. The system could then be effectively integrated into route planners and SatNavs for enhanced accessibility and efficiency in use. However, additional infrastructural development plans to add 3600 public charging points along the streets by the end of this year seem to have been halted following the novel coronavirus’s effects.
Additionally, the UK government needs to do more than just installing EV charging points and improving infrastructure. It needs to develop a good energy plan to cater to the growing electricity needs created by the influx of EVs.
Electric car sales
While the sale of EVs shows a steady rise, it is still below the projected rate. Car dealers argue that sufficient government funding is necessary to improve the infrastructure making it accommodative to these new vehicle models. Having accessible EV charging points and better infrastructure will make the transition phase easy and smooth. Due to the few gaps in the infrastructural sector, changing to electric cars is quite expensive. The lop holes may be the reason why EV sales are not as high as expected.
Additionally, the automotive industry argues that the new hybrid cars (which operates using electric motors and fuel) should be phased out later than fuel-powered cars. They argue that the new hybrid car models are a good way of getting UK residents acquainted with the new battery technology.
An end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be a game-changer to the UK’s automotive industry. Currently, fuel-powered cars account for the largest percentage of cars sold every year. Hybrid cars rank second with electric cars taking the smallest percentage. This transition means that more than 2 million EVs will be supplied within the UK market annually.
It is with no doubt that the UK will eventually phase out the use of fuel-powered vehicles. This means that the government should develop a strategic plan to accelerate the phase-out while still looking into its people’s needs. It should develop a plan that backs up the low-carbon industries. The plan aims at ensuring that workers and the community, in general, get enough support as they transition into a cleaner and safer net-zero carbon economy.
Geschreven door Lynn
Writes blogs about EV charging and climate solutions for 50five.