The government has announced that its ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be brought forward to 2030, just ten years away. The first thing to get out of the way is that this covers only the sale of brand-new cars, so if you’re shopping for a second-hand motor you still have more options. The second thing to keep in mind is that hybrids will be allowed at least until 2035.
There are some hurdles to pass beforehand. The government must invest in a nationwide charging infrastructure that can keep all of us on the road for years to come. It needs to make sure that the electrical grid can meet the increase in demand.
Fortunately, there will be no shortage of options by then. Over the next couple of years there will be well over a dozen pure battery powered cars hitting the market from Audi, Mercedes, and BMW.
But one of the most game-changing is Dacia’s Spring. The tiny SUV will bring battery power to the masses with a price expected to be below £20,000. There’s currently no word yet on whether this car will come to the UK however, though its sister car, the petrol-powered Renault Kwid is sold in right-hand-drive in India. This means that the car can be adapted for our roads with little additional cost. On the other hand, parent company Renault has pulled the Twingo, including the new all-electric version, from sale in the UK. As of October the firm said that it is being “evaluated” for sale here. The government ruling will hopefully force its hand.
It’s one thing to have a new £100,000 luxury car with battery power. But this will be an EV for the masses. Skoda’s new Enya Iq will start at £33,450, but for that price claims 242 miles of range. Many companies charge tens of thousands of pounds more for anything close to that. Then there’s the new MG5. The little estate car starts at just £24,495 and MG claims it will travel 214 miles on a full charge.
This is trickle-down technology. Only a decade ago battery power was exclusive to the most minted of motorists. The first to bring real world zero-emissions driving to the rest of us was Nissan with its LEAF. That car is arguably a more important one than anything with a Tesla badge for that reason. Next came the Renault Zoe and the rest is history. These are the Model Ts and VW Beetles of the modern age. And that’s not to mention the offerings from Hyundai and Kia. It’s no secret that electric cars are cheaper to run in the long term. But for a long time you had to work out whether the savings were worth the premium in price. Those days will soon be behind us.