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2035: The New Deadline For Ban On Diesel And Petrol Cars

26 Aug 2020

Though it is positive to see the government pushing forward with efforts to combat global warming, it seems that this particular change in legislation is both unfounded and unnecessary. Firstly, it now includes hybrid vehicles. Secondly, it affects car manufacturers who are already trying to overcome the original deadline. 

Ban On Sale Of Diesel And Petrol Cars 

In its ploy to counteract the environmental crisis, the UK government introduced the law that sales of diesel or petrol cars from 2040 onwards would become illegal. This date has now been pushed forward by 5 years favouring a motoring world satiated only by zero-emission cars. While green-focussed groups received the news with glee, car manufacturers and motoring organisations were left dumbfounded. This is triggered by a very real concern that the UK is completely unprepared for electric vehicle alternatives far sooner than anticipated. 

A Sustainable Option Of Motoring

By forcing the hand of so many within the motoring industry, the government risks dissuading drivers to purchase more environmentally-friendly vehicles, such as hybrids. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders deems the decision risky and undermining of car manufacturers who, largely, are already proving their investment into the zero-emissions goal. 
 
With so many hybrids and EVs in the market (currently around 60 plug-ins), and yet more to come in 2020 (at least 34), it seems counterintuitive to introduce a law that pushes consumers in a direction that goes opposite to this goal; they will be more inclined to purchase diesel or petrol alternatives that are distinctly cheaper and more convenient than EVs. 
 
On the other hand, in the context of the original goalpost, the more consumers actively purchasing cleaner vehicles help manufacturers to learn and develop the technology used to construct zero-emission cars. Over time, technology has the chance to advance, which in turn, makes EVs cheaper to buy and just as convenient (as there will be more appropriate filling stations to charge). It also means that motoring becomes astronomically cleaner sooner, as consumers are less inclined to purchase diesel/petrol cars out of spite and affordability. Bringing the goalpost to 2035 threatens a reversal of progress.

Deferring Investment Into A Cleaner Motoring Future

What the government appears to have disregarded is the cost of EVs. There is a multitude of income groups who simply cannot afford to purchase full EVs. Now, with a 2035 goal, it seems unlikely that EV technology is going to get substantially cheaper to match the cost of brand new cars (for example a petrol BMW 330 costs £32.5k against its hybrid cousin, the 330i, which owns a pricetag of £37.8k). The government should be considering this. If consumers lean more towards the cheaper option, there is no space for development in the intended version. Furthermore, this could jeopardise the industry and the prospective job opportunities that would otherwise be created from innovation potential. 

Can The UK Electricity Grid Handle The Expectation?

In almost encouraging drivers to hold on to the vehicles that are culprits of higher levels of pollution for longer, the decision to bring the ban forward may actually backfire. Interestingly, while this bold decision has been imposed, it has been questioned by both green and industry sectors how the government intends to accomplish the new deadline, meanwhile, cutting grants for EVs by March this year. 
 
By all accounts, if the government could concoct a plan that favours everyone, then it would be a move that should be commended; the UK would be seen as one of the pioneers in a cleaner world. Sadly, there are just too many hurdles. Kieth Anderson of Scottish Power, while acknowledging the decision for its positive intentions, recognises that there has been something of an oversight. He questions how realistic it is to expect the UK’s electricity grid to handle an additional 25 million EV charging stations on the network by 2050. The one-million a year extra would spew across the country in driveways, streets, parking lots and on the road network, meanwhile, ensuring everyone has access to an EV charger, including those who live somewhere rural, or those who are affected by disabilities. It is undoubted that zero-emissions cars are the future, but how soon this future might be, and how sustainable a promise, comes with more questions than answers. 

Ready To Buy Into The EV Market But Can’t Afford It?

Though there are clearly some limitations to the government’s ambitious revision to this law, there are ways you can become a forerunner in the pursuit of cleaner motoring. Through car leasing, drivers have access to brand new, high spec and completely electric vehicles for a fraction of the cost they would otherwise have to cough up. Cars2buy is dedicated to finding drivers their perfect leasing deal for their ideal EV. Click here to find yours!