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The Long Road To Electric Cars In The UK

United Kingdom residents may have noticed a steady surge in Petrol and Diesel prices across the country, somewhat due to the ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, with Russia being one of the largest oil producers in the world.

But petrol and diesel aren’t the only options when it comes to powering your car. Manufacturers are finding different alternatives to these fossil fuels, and focusing on powering cars in renewable ways, through the use of hydrogen and electricity. 

This increasing cost of fuel is begging the question of, when should we switch to electric vehicles? Less than 2% of the 32.5 million cars, on the road in the United Kingdom, are electric, however, this percentage is consistently increasing with over an 800% increase in the last 5 years alone. 

But why should you switch to an electric car?

The United Kingdom, as well as many other countries, plans to be Carbon-neutral by the end of 2050, only 28 years from now. This means, not adding any more carbon to the stock in the atmosphere. Places like Buthan and Suriname have already achieved this due to the dense population of rainforests across their country. 

In order to reach this goal, the UK government have implemented clean air zones across the country, charging drivers whose vehicles don’t meet emissions standards, in an effort to persuade citizens to invest in more environmentally friendly transport options. 

Dependent on the area you are driving in, most of these charges will only apply to taxis, buses and heavy goods vehicles.

How long would it take to see an electric UK?

An average of 2 million new cars are sold in the UK every year. And there are currently 32.5 million registered cars, and counting, with over 32 million of these vehicles reliant, or party reliant on crude oils. 

By 2030 the UK will ban sales of new cars powered by Petrol & Diesel, with new hybrids being banned 5 years later in 2035. 

Petrol and Diesel cars will still be legal to own and drive during this time, and with most fuel vehicles having a lifespan of around 14 years or so, we could expect to see a fully electric UK by around 2050, with the last petrol diesel cars, bein sold in 2029, and hybrids in 2034. 

Will the UK reach its carbon-neutral goal?

The last time anyone in the UK will be able to buy a brand new car, that uses crude oils, will be in 2034 when the last of the hybrid cars are distributed across the UK, and with the average lifespan of a hybrid car being 12-14 years, most of these vehicles should die in 2049, a year before the UK plans to be carbon-neutral. 

These major changes in the car market will be an incredible help in providing a carbon-neutral future, However, the average car produces 4.6 tonnes of carbon annually, whereas the average household produces 8, therefore residents of the UK will have to take other measures to reduce carbon emissions.

The Committee on Climate Change states that this figure needs to drop to 1.87 tonnes per household to keep the planet at a safe temperature.

This can be achieved if citizens of the UK invest more in renewable energy such as solar panelling and LED lights. Choosing to recycle and planting more trees are also great ways to combat climate change. 

Will people make the change to Electric Cars?

In late 2021 the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey took place, asking motorists how likely they were to switch to an all-electric car during the next ten years. 

44% of all adults stated that they were fairly or very likely to make the switch. The survey found that younger drivers were much more open to making the switch as opposed to drivers over the age of 70.

70% of those who were unlikely to make the switch, blamed the cost of purchasing an electric car for their reasoning. 

52% of the people who were unlikely to purchase an electric car blamed their decision on a lack of infrastructure, such as charging stations. 

Charging stations vs Petrol Stations 

There are currently 8,378 stations across the United Kingdom selling both Petrol & Diesel, there are 8,471 Electric Car charging stations, outnumbering the number of petrol stations. 

Thousands of these stations are free to use, and some can take as little as 85 minutes to fully charge your vehicle (0-80%) depending on the compatibility of your car.

Will you make the change to Electric Vehicles? What will you do to reduce your carbon footprint?

Fight against global warming today and switch to an electric car. 

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