The UK has announced today that there will be no new petrol or diesel cars after 2040. That will be the end of new carbon fuelled cars, leaving only aging cars to to fight over whatever fuel may be left, if indeed the full transition has not been made.
It’s a bold move and one I support fully. Other countries have done it recently and set dates to ban new petrol or diesel vehicles, allowing us to time to usher in the newer technologies, plus for the oil industry time to develop in a new direction.
It’s exciting times. We have electric emerging as the likely contender, with companies investing a lot in the future of technology, with more R&D than ever before. Volvo has announced that all models will get an electric version, whilst BMW Mini has stated intent for their new Mini E to be built in Cowley, Oxford, which secures the future of the plant for some time. It’s great news for the area and car building in the UK, which was under threat due to the hazardous Brexit future on which the UK has embarked.
Electric vehicles present some challenges, with charging and range being the main concerns of drivers. My 8 year old BMW diesel can do nearly 800 miles to a tank of fuel, but the range of most electric cars is much lesser at the moment. A BMW i3 has reportedly 190 miles per charge and that will probably be dependent on driving style and if you have gadgets on that use the electricity.
The Tesla Model S fares a bit better, with 450+ miles on one charge, so we see the technology is improving as companies invest in R&D and I can only see this as a starting point.
The other concern for me would be charging. If I am driving to the Highlands from where I am at the minute in a Tesla Model S, a distance of around 600 miles, I will need to stop for over an hour and that’s if I can find a free supercharge station on the way.
Also, it would mean the end of the fuel light bingo that some like to play, as there is no way you should even attempt that in an electric vehicle. By the time you get towed to the nearest charging station, an hour or two will have elapsed and then it will take over an hour and a half to charge fully, leaving you with a big gap in the day sitting, waiting, taking your passengers glares and disapproval.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I loathe all but one motorway service stations and I don’t want to be spending over an hour in one while the car charges. They are dire places, with overpriced substandard product and lots of people in crowds, which I detest as people in crowds are stupid and dangerous, and I usually ending up standing next to the smelly one who wants a conversation about the loos or the weather.
I for one want the range to be better and the charging to be much quicker all round before I take the plunge.
There is still a way to go with electric and I don’t believe we’ve seen the end of other potential fuel sources, such as the hydrogen engine, which would emit water back into the atmosphere instead of carbon based gases. That’s got to be a good alternative to follow and see if hydrogen engine can be part of our carbon free future.
All in all, it’s a good thing that the government has called time on carbon fuelled transport and I see it exciting time in motoring, ushering in a new era. The developments and edge of the industry have been sharpened, with new ground to break.
Although, I will miss the roar of the V8 as foot is planted to the floor as that is pure motoring porn.