The future of the electric car: UK and beyond
What’s the current state of the electric car industry? Once a novelty and now key to solving the world’s fuel and environmental problems, it seems that we all suddenly know an electric car driver. Of course, electrical vehicles (EVs) are much better for the environment than petrol and diesel motors because of the significant decrease in CO2 emissions. But, are sales really growing that much and what issues lie ahead?
To tackle the task of exploring EVs in the UK and other countries, we’ve teamed up with VW dealer, Vindis Group, to see what the future holds for the electric car.
EV sales: UK and Europe
As we mentioned, the electric car seems to have accelerated from nowhere. People once slated the idea of driving an electric car, never mind the notion of it contending with petrol and diesel motors. In 2013, only 3,500 new electric vehicles were registered across the whole year. But in 2014, around 500 EVs were registered per month on average. Even more impressive, the industry has experienced the registration of almost 26,000 electric cars (approximately 3,700 per month)in the first seven months of 2017, while across Europe, the market share for diesel motors has fallen by nearly 4% over the last year.
How is the UK dealing with the rise of EVs?
Unfortunately for the UK, the EV trend hasn’t caught on as well as it has for many of its global counterparts. Research shows that the UK is actually way behind other countries in the race to be an all-electric car nation. Already, many other states across Europe are making excellent progress in their EV goals. Norway has a tough but feasible aim of getting rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025, while Germany is proven to be on track to get its wish of becoming an EV-only country by 2030 — a decade ahead of the UK’s current target of 2040.
Electric cars: Important information
Some important statistics regarding the EV industry include:
- New EV registrations have gone up from 3,500 in 2013 to 85,000 in 2016.
- The EV market has smashed the two million mark across the world (with China, USA and Europe accounting for more than 90% of 2016’s electric car sales).
- New electric vehicle registrations hit a 12-year high in January 2017 and achieved a record 4.6% share in UK new car registration.
How an EV helps you do your bit for the environment
Governments and authority figures across the world are collectively driving to achieve a cleaner, safer and more sustainable environment —which is one of the reasons the EV market has rocketed. Electric cars have the ability to reduce carbon emissions and create a cleaner ecosystem. However, this depends on the type of power source your electricity uses to charge the car battery. To elaborate, batteries charged and powered by coal do not cut harmful emissions – it’s the natural gas electricity power that helps to reduce these. Natural gas electricity can result in less than half of the total emissions of the best combustion vehicle, which includes the manufacturing processes. With petrol and diesel cars known for their contribution to air pollution and a global drive to protect the environment, it’s no surprise that countries are striving to stop producing petrol and diesel cars ASAP.
What hurdles are in front of us in the EV industry?
The future isn’t as straightforward as it seems for EVs and there are a lot of kinks that need ironing out if the market is to flourish.Firstly, EVs need more lightweight batteries that have longer durations and don’t take as much time to charge. Thankfully, some models with these points in mind have already started to appear on the market and global investment should ensure the progress continues.
Looking at the UK specifically, is there enough momentum in the motoring industry to help make a success of the EV sector? Some large car brands have already revealed plans for their own EV models, including MINI, which revealed the name of its new electric car model in July this year: the MINI EV. Mercedes also announced that it is to enter Formula E — alongside BMW, Audi, Porsche, and Jaguar — to attempt an all-electric racing series. So, it appears that cogs are turning to help the country hit its all-EV target of 2040.
The overarching aims are cleaner air, quieter roads and less dependency on petrol and diesel. If plans are to go ahead as scheduled, petrol and diesel vehicles will be unavailable in the UK from 2040 onwards, and this is a target the country needs to hit if it’s to remain a key player in the motor vehicle market.