Government wants all new cars and vans to be electric by 2040

Faith Castro
July 27, 2017

Following in the footsteps from their neighbours across the Channel, UK has made a decision to ban the sales of diesel and petrol vehicles in the country by 2040.

The ambitious framework will also help towards tackling the Government's commitments to climate change policies.

"Currently demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level as consumer have concern over affordability, range and charging points". Norway has the highest penetration for electric cars in the world, has set a target to allow the sale of only EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025.

Despite the reports of petrol engine bans in the mainstream press, the "ban" really refers to eliminating vehicles that do not utilize any mode of electric propulsion.

"The Government has a number of initiatives to help encourage people to make the switch, one being the exemption of electric vehicle owners paying road user charges, saving them around $600 a year".

In April the NI Affairs Committee at Westminster reported that we will need more energy than can be supplied in 2021, prompting fears of an energy crisis here.

The measures were part of a £3bn clean air strategy that the government published recently, before the deadline given by High Court.

"Today's plan sets out how we will work with local authorities to tackle the effects of roadside pollution caused by dirty diesels, in particular nitrogen dioxide", said the Environment Secretary Michael Gove on Wednesday.

The Department believes low uptake rates could change due to advancements in low carbon alternative technologies.

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"The industry instead wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars", the society's chief executive, Mike Hawes, told the BBC.

A key obstacle to making electric cars popular is the amount of time it takes to recharge, and a lack of charging stations.

"Pure" EVs - those which rely exclusively on their battery to motivate the vehicle - have been too compromised for most drivers, particularly when it comes to the distance they can travel before needing recharged.

London needs to spend €10 billion (NZ$15.6 billion) to get charging infrastructure to a level where retail buyers can practically own an electric auto, AlixPartners said.

Our electricity infrastructure is already over-stretched. Even with the grant applied, that's still £9,000 more expensive than the £18,420 listed price of the basic, 5-door petrol version of the Golf.

Advances in battery technology between now and 2040 are also expected to be substantial, especially with vehicle manufacturers now focused on that goal.

From 2040, drivers will be able to buy electric vehicles only - ending the near 150-year reign of the internal combustion engine.

The regular Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels nearly entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. I mean, is going all-electric in a few - in a few decades realistic?

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