In July 2017, the UK government made a clear commitment to a cleaner future by stating that by 2040, all diesel and petrol car sales will be banned.
Of course, many in the industry were up in arms. They suggested that this would be a tall order, surely there’s no way that all cars will be converted to electric by then?
At the time, a friend of mine worked for Renault. The day after the announcement, all mechanics were brought into a room, and it was explained that all diesel and petrol tech education would be ceasing immediately. All new projects will be based on supporting electric vehicles.
Let’s just get that into perspective.
This is Renault. A huge manufacturer of diesel cars. They have just committed to a future without them.
This doesn’t seem to be a knee-jerk reaction, it’s surely something they would have been planning for.
Not long after, Land Rover announced their hybrid version of the Range Rover. Land Rover!!
It takes about eight years for a car to go from design to manufacture, so these companies have known for a long time that this was coming.
Within a few months, hybrids and all-electric vehicles are no longer niche; they’re everywhere.
But what’s more important is that the arguments against them are dwindling.
Why not electric?
The anti-electric crew are quite vocal in their opposition to the phasing out of fossil-fuelled based cars, and on the face of it, some of their arguments seem valid.
For example, one of the big complaints is that we simply don’t have the infrastructure to handle it. Where are all these cars going to charge?
This seems a valid argument, seeing as there are 8,455 petrol stations as per the latest figures, and not many of those have electric charge points. But hang on, that’s not the whole picture. There are, in fact, over 7,000 electric charge points. How can that be?
Have you noticed supermarkets have them tucked away in the corner of their car parks? In fact, many car parks have now installed them, very often a couple at a time, and it doesn’t take much for these to add up.
Of course, you can’t fill your diesel car up at home, but you can charge your car, meaning there’s actually less of a requirement for external charge points anyway.
What about the environment?
Generating all of this power is going to take some doing. A lot of people say that it’s going to mean fossil fuels will be used at the generation stage rather than burning in the engine, and, rightly, that this is less efficient.
Well, yes, maybe a few years ago, but in the last twelve months, we’ve seen a bit of a revolution in wind power.
In fact, in January 2017 it was announced that wind power accounted for more electricity in the grid than coal for the first time in the UK.
While it’s clear that old methods of generating electricity can’t keep up with demand, and certainly couldn’t power all of our cars, it seems in the future we’ll be able to have our cake and eat it.
Less coal, more wind power, electric cars and zero emissions.
Technology is ever evolving, and basing the future on today’s technology is the wrong way to think about it.
Finally, electric cars are becoming a reality, and it means a cleaner, more efficient and let’s not forget, quieter world for our children to live in.