Petrol cars banned in 9 years time?

 It is anticipated that Boris Johnson is going to announce that all petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, meaning that if you buy a new car on 1st January 2030 you will only be able to buy one powered by an electric motor. This news brings forward the original 2040 ban that was announced in 2018, a date that many in the motor industry believed was already very optimistic. The prime minister then moved this forwards to 2035 in February this year but new plans now move this date even closer to 2030. This ban means that you can carry on driving your existing cars that have petrol and diesel engines but if you buy or lease a new car it will have to be powered by electricity. This includes “hybrid” cars which have both engines but even these cars will be subject of the ban a little later in 2035. These plans are all part of the government’s aim to achieve “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050 to tackle greenhouse gas pollution, which the government estimate costs the UK economy £2.7 billion.

 The petrol engine has been used in cars for over 100 years and while it has evolved significantly making them more efficient and greener, the fact that they burn fossil fuel has remain unchanged. They still emit harmful pollutants including Co2 which is proved to have a significant impact on the environment and presents the largest risk to public health in the UK. Industry figures show that petrol and diesel cars made up 73.6% of the sales for new cars sold in the UK this year, with hybrid cars taking 20.9% of the sales. Pure electric powered cars were responsible for just 5.5% of the sales which makes the 100% electric target in 9 years seem impossible. Most of the big car companies have an all-electric powered car in their range but the general feeling amongst the manufacturers is that moving to entirely electric powered cars is going to be very difficult in less than 10 years.

 For the public there are also many unanswered questions. How will you charge you electric car? If you live on a street where you park on the road, where can you plug it in overnight to use the next day? Most electric cars will go for around 120 to 200 miles before they need charging and there are not many places where they can be charged at the moment. It also typically takes 8 hours to fully charge a car battery from empty meaning you will need to carefully plan your journeys. A lot of people currently buy used cars, what will a 4 or 5 years old electric car cost to buy and fix? What impact will the move to electric have on people’s jobs?

  We assume that in order to make this 2030 target achievable the government will also announce plans to make cars more affordable and also facilities to make them practical to use as daily transport, but the more you read about this subject makes the proposition of only electric cars in 2030 a very challenging target.