As expected, the PM’s Green Plan was announced last week (18 November 2020) confirming the intention to ban new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
Such a decisive move by the government to bring forward the original deadline by 10 years has been acknowledged as an enormous challenge for the automotive industry with the only concession being ‘some hybrids will be allowed’.
The plan includes a boost to hydrogen powered transport which is a growing sector with buses, city cars and construction equipment employing the technology although on a moderate scale given the costs to produce the fuel.
As we have commented before, the road to transitioning to fully electric is not entirely clear with the charging infrastructure needing to be addressed, concerns about the UK’s capability to recycle all those batteries without creating a new source of pollution; and perhaps the biggest barrier of all accessibility to consumers. With average costs around £20-£30k electric cars will simply be off limits for most people and without subsidies and other incentives many will hang on to their ICE vehicles.
Looking on a global scale the investment in this highly ambitious programme to convert to electric is dwarfed by players like China and Germany.
The only hope perhaps is the PM’s concept of forced technology delivering the goods. History shows that in a crisis situation under immense pressure, targets can be achieved as they were during WW2, in particular the rapid leap forward in aircraft from canvas bi-planes to jet propulsion.
In any event, we will be following progress with our usual focus.
Credit: Photo by Michael Marais on Unsplash