It was recently announced that all petrol and diesel cars in Great Britain will be banned from sale after 2040. This means that the next time you buy a car after this point, it will have to be fully electric. This came as a huge shock to the UK public, as they prepare to face the drastic switch away from filling up in their local petrol station. At present, we are not completely sure how the national grid is going to cope with this substantial addition in demand; however, we are not the only country that is undergoing this change, so we will not be alone. Infrastructure is already in the process of expansion and preparation, especially within the renewable energy sector , which is kind of the whole point of this exercise. So, what does this mean for your family? What is going to change?
How much do electric cars cost?
Telling you how much electric cars cost currently is not going to help you out very much. The current price tag for the average runaround can range from £30,000 to £100,000, but this price will most certainly fall greatly as more people make the switch. There is currently a rather large emphasis on hybrid models, which act as a gateway car to reduce the switch between petrol and electric.
At present, there are not a great deal of models in circulation, which means the ones that are, come at a premium, but as electric car manufacture expands and becomes commonplace for all car companies, you will most definitely see the prices begin to drop. The reverse will of course become true when high-end models begin to be released. With a bit of luck, after everything has settled down, the car will market will exist as we know it now, just with electricity instead of petrol.
How do you charge the car?
Another question that is being asked of car manufacturers is about their charge time. The current standard cars that are in circulation are just not practical for the majority of drivers. Some models take up to 8 hours to perform a complete charge, and when charged don’t take you as far as you need to go.
Of course, the amount of time taken to charge your vehicle will depend on two key aspects: the capacity and the efficiency of your battery(ies). If you have the BMW i8, for example, you’d have a 7 kWh battery, which would only take you about 30 minutes to charge at a rapid charging spot, but it would only drive you 21 miles. And that said, if you were to charge your i8 at home it would still take you between 2-3 hours.
Given that most people would be charging their cars overnight, you would probably be better of buying a car with a larger capacity that takes longer to charge, but will drive your further. The Tesla Model S 100f, for example, has a battery capacity over 14 times bigger than that of the i8 and will drive you between 300 – 400 miles.
What will happen to my old car?
As of yet there is no concrete plan for current petrol and diesel cars that are on the roads. One thing is for certain, however: they will not suddenly become illegal or have them taken from you forcibly. It is likely that the transition will be much more gradual, with only the sale of new fuel powered cars being banned from 2040. This means that fuel powered cars will still be able to drive on British roads, just with some potential complications.
There has been rumors of enforcing a tax on those drivers with fuel powered cars after the ban. This would be a kind of ‘emissions tax’ that would act as an incentive for people to purchase a new, electric car. The other issue is that with the drastic drop in fuel cars, the amount of petrol stations will surely rapidly drop, replacing them with charging points. As such, it will prove much harder for drivers to arrive at their destinations having filled up along the way; much more planning will be needed in mapping your route.
Are we the only country to be doing this?
No, we are one of many, and we most certainly are not the first country to enforce a ban on fuel powered cars. Among the countries participating are:
In addition, there are also countries, such as Korea, Spain, Ireland and Japan, that have set extensive targets relating to the sales of electric cars, which will popularise them exponentially. As of yet, our transatlantic cousins, the United States of America are yet to set any kind of official target for electric car sales or emission reduction through automobiles.