Reacting to the news that the Government is to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“With the Government formally bringing forward the date for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, the car industry and those responsible for charging infrastructure now have an enormous task on their hands. Production lines that for decades have been set up to build cars powered with internal combustion engines will have to be transformed to allow manufacturers to profitably build a wider range of EV models in sufficient quantities. Meanwhile the country’s public charging network will need to grow exponentially to cater for the surge in EVs on the road.
“There’s also lots for consumers to get used to in order for them to feel confident about going electric. Running an EV is currently very different to a petrol or diesel car which can be refuelled in a matter of minutes, so those switching in the next few years face a big learning curve which involves different types of chargers, connectors and varying charging speeds.
“And while many EV drivers will charge at home and start with a ‘full tank’, this won’t be possible for everyone, particularly those without off-street parking. Right now running an EV requires a level of planning as charging generally takes significantly longer than a visit to a fuel forecourt. While the early EV adopters are motivated to cope with this, some drivers could find it daunting and inconvenient. Some of these problems will disappear as the average range of EVs increases, but it’s vital that the Government continues to invest in developing a fast, reliable and widely available network of chargers that support electric vehicle owners no matter what their circumstances or travel plans. Charging aside, EVs will also spell the end of the manual gearbox that so many drivers will have been used to.
“But for the time being the biggest barrier to going electric remains the comparatively high upfront vehicle cost, so we hope the Government’s announcement will pave the way to lower list prices, thereby accelerating take-up. This in turn will help lead to EVs being more readily available on the second-hand market which is where the majority of people choose to buy their vehicles.”