They say if we fail to plan we plan to fail, today we see the Motor Industry accuse Boris Johnson of moving goal posts without a plan. It was originally intended by the Government that the UK would phase out all petrol, diesel and hybrid motor vehicles by 2040. Boris Johnson has announced that he'd pulled forward this date to 2035, 5 years sooner and only 15 years away. A move which the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) find very concerning. What plan has been made to plough ahead with this 5 years earlier than originally intended? The whole infrastructure of the UK needs to change.
It's true that we're seeing a boom in the electric and hybrid motor market as consumers become more aware and conscious of their own carbon footprint, but are they willing to make sacrifices and initial purchase investments? Yes, whilst there is a govenment grant available to cars under a certain CO2, this means that all full electric cars would qualify, if they usually lease their vehicle it is the leasing company and not the driver/end user that claims this. There are initial purchase costs to buy and install a home charging box. When we travel for work, is there sufficient parking bays that would allow us to charge our electric car if necessary?
I discussed this with a friend who leases a Jaguar I-Pace, he said that if he had his timings correct, he could charge his vehicle without it costing him anything other than the original purchase price of a £20 charging card. He did not have the home charge installed and instead relied on public charging points. He said that most local authorities offer free charging, whilst you park. He did say that he used to be able to park for free too, but they've recently introduced a charge for parking. He did say that driving on the motorway can be challenging as usually service stations only have the facility to charge 2 vehicles. He also added that you can guarantee that one is out of order and the other is occupied, so whilst the car will display the nearest charging point, more often than not he needs to drive to a 2nd or 3rd place before he is able to charge, this has left him somewhat concerned for longer motorway journeys.
So is it feasible to suggest that we can change the whole UK's motor refuelling infrastructure and everyone's vehicles in the next 15 years? How will we plan for this? It's thought that the ban will apply to sales of motor vehicles, so does that mean that everyone will hold onto their current car until it goes to car heaven? Will that also have a time limit and if so how can we insist that everyone in the UK change their car to a fully electric automobile, will there be a scrappage scheme, how will this be funded? So many questions and yet no answers or plan!
Car manufacturers are seriously invested in zero emission cars, with almost all launching newer hybrid models and fully electric options too, however with current demand for this very expensive technology, they still only represent a small percentage of new car registrations. Is it possible for Car manufacturers to advance their technology in such a short space of time to try and make the electric car more affordable to all car drivers or is this over ambitious?
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