The Petrol and Diesel Car Ban: Are You Ready to go Electric?
The UK Government has announced their intention to bring forward a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035, and they have also added hybrids to the ban list.
With transport accounting for almost a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions, it’s easy to understand the push for more eco-friendly transport solutions as we strive to meet our target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
However, while electric cars certainly aren’t a new invention, the industry still has a way to go before electric vehicles offer the same level of convenience as petrol and diesel cars.
What does the ban actually mean?
This is a ban on the manufacture and sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. There are currently no plans to impose any kind of UK-wide scrappage scheme, and the sale of used internal combustion cars will still be permitted. So, lovers of classic cars can breathe a sigh of relief!
The growing popularity of electric cars
Currently, less than 1% of the cars on UK roads run purely on electric - these are known as Battery Electric Vehicles or 'BEVs'. However, following the government’s announcement, there has been a surge in online searches for electric cars. That, of course, doesn’t mean that drivers are quite ready to make the switch, but there has been a rise in the number of motorists who say they will choose a BEV for their next purchase.
Reasons to consider going electric
Savings on long term cost
At the time of writing, purchase costs for BEVs are generally quite high, but as demand increases, economies of scale and new innovations in design and manufacture will allow those costs to decrease. Some experts forecast that by the end of the decade, electric vehicles could even be cheaper than comparable internal-combustion cars.
The big draw for many when considering Battery Electric Vehicles, is the reduced running costs. Even when we disregard government subsidies (which may be lowered or discontinued in the future); tax breaks and significantly lower fuel costs make BEVs a cheaper option.
Whats more, the power required to run a BEV can cost as little as 2p per mile, compared to around 8p per mile for even the most economical of petrol or diesel cars.
Much lower environmental impact
Climate change, melting ice caps, air pollution resulting in respiratory illness and deaths… there are many reasons to move towards cleaner-running vehicles sooner rather than later. Many experts warn that without making drastic changes now, it’s going to be too late.
Things to consider before you make the switch
The biggest concern for consumers remains the availability of charging stations. It seems the fear of being stranded far from home with no way to charge your car is at the forefront of many car buyers’ minds.
However, if you’re doing most of your miles in and around urban centres, this is becoming less of an issue. According to Zap Map, in the last 2 years alone the number of available charging stations has risen by over 40%. As most of these are situated in cities and larger towns, though, you’ll need to plan ahead if you’re setting out on a journey to more remote areas of the country. Apps like Zap Map will help you to plan your route for this type of journey.
Range on a full charge
While the range (the distance you can drive on one full charge) of BEVs is increasing all the time along with technology, many still have a fear that a full charge won’t get them far enough. Again, this is something which has improved hugely over time, with newer BEVs offering a range of up to 250 miles on a single charge. That’s far beyond the mileage covered by the average UK driver in a single journey.
If you’re buying a BEV, it’s important to think about your own driving habits, and make sure the car meets your needs.
With fewer moving parts, there's not as many issues that could arise with BEVs as there could be with petrol and diesel cars. Unsurprisingly, this means that general maintenance costs are lower for BEVs. However, there is an important consideration to bear in mind with this...
The electric vehicle industry is still in its infancy, and longer-term reliability remains unproven. Add to this the fact that these machines are much more complex, which means the days of saving money by getting your hands greasy under the bonnet with a spot of DIY may soon be over. This means that you’re going to be much more reliant on experts than you may have been before, which could come with a hefty price tag if and when something does go wrong.
This is definitely not a reason to put off buying a BEV, particularly given the social and economic benefits that they offer. It simply means that it is going to become more important than ever to be prepared for those unexpected eventualities.
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