Boris Johnson announces a ‘green industrial revolution’
The Government has announced a £1.3bn investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging points and an extension to their EV grants scheme, as part of the nationwide push to become carbon neutral by 2050.
First launched in 2017, a ban on the sale of cars with traditional internal combustion engines was planned for 2040. This date moved to 2035 earlier this year and has now been revised again to 2030 for all cars exclusively powered by petrol or diesel. Hybrids will still be available until 2035.
Rebecca Newsom of environmental group Greenpeace, has welcomed the Government’s change of date, saying it could be "a major milestone in the fight against the climate crisis."
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) fully electric cars accounted for 6.6% of total new car sales in October. Traditional cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs) have seen a drop of 21% for petrol and 38% for diesel so far this year. While progress is being made on the journey towards a fully electric car industry, there is clearly plenty of change still to come.
The Government’s 10 Point Plan includes further investment in the electric vehicle industry, including:
• extended grants worth £582m for consumers to encourage drivers into EVs. Grants are already available on the cost of purchasing an EV (reflected in leasing costs) and also for installing of charge points.
• £1.3bn investment in charging points. According to https://www.zap-map.com, there are 20,022 public charging points in 12,733 locations across the UK (figures correct as at 18/11/20), figures that change daily. An increase in EV uptake inevitably means these figures need to rise quickly and dramatically.
• nearly £500m for the manufacture of EV batteries in the Midlands and the north-east of England.
While sales of EVs have grown rapidly so far in 2020, many motorists feel they are still too expensive when compared to traditional vehicles. Changing technology has meant a far greater range in most models compared to just a couple of years ago, but fears still exist about how charging works and just how far an EV can go before running out of charge.
"Success will depend on reassuring consumers that they can afford these new technologies, that they will deliver their mobility needs and, critically, that they can recharge as easily as they refuel." Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT)
Edmund King, president of AA commented on Twitter: “2030 target is incredibly ambitious, but transformation to electric cars is welcome. If we can tackle the issues with considerable investment and focus, the electric revolution will flourish.”