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As petrol and diesel cars are scheduled to be phased out it is estimated we need to invest over £100bn by 2030, less than 11 years from now. EVs might cost more than their petrol or diesel counterparts today, but that gap is narrowing. The latest research by analysts at Deloitte suggests that price parity with internal combustion cars is likely by 2021. 'In the UK, the cost of petrol and diesel vehicle ownership will converge with electric over the next five years,' predicts Michael Woodward, UK automotive partner at Deloitte. 'Supported by existing government subsidies and technology advances, this tipping point could be reached as early as 2021. From this point, cost will no longer be a barrier to purchase, and owning an EV will become a realistic, viable option for new buyers.'
The Committee on Climate Change , a government advisory body wants between 30%-70% of cars to be electric by 2030. To do that there will need to be an additional 200,000 public charging points, including 107,000 rapid chargers by 2050 ( only 16,000 are currently availble).The government launched a Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund to invest £200m with a further £900m in low emission transport.
As someone who relies on a vehicle and lives in a rural area running an electric car presents a challenge on a longer journey. Today there are around 620,000 hybrid, plug in hybrid and electric cars in the UK - this is a small number compared to the 34.9m vehicles on the road. The Treasury is reliant on fuel duty and rakes in £30bn a year. If a tax is planned based on number of miles driven this will again disproportionatly hit the rural user.
An article by Rachel Millard in the Sunday Times May 2019, raises a lot of pertinent questions about the way forward for our transport . Will we have the power stations to meet this demand for power that could be as much as 8 gigawatts- more than twice the capacity of the new Hinkley Point Power station? Charging points, underground cables, battery storage all offer great challenges.Manufacturers need to be consistent in their equipment - for example the power plus vary from car to car. What of our older vehicles? There are key strategic issues to consider of infrastructure, training, skills development and investment. Time is running out.
Maybe back to the horse beckons?