The government’s ban on diesel and petrol cars by 2040 has been met with a mixture of reactions from calls praising it to claims that there needs to be more detail on how it will be enforced.
Finally there are some arguing that compared to other countries, particularly in Europe, the 2040 deadline doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.
Either way you look at the decision, its effects will be felt most prominently by us, the consumers.
Will we have to scrap our old cars? Will we have to pay more for using an older non-electric car?
While many of these questions still need to be answered, the good news is that as far as the technology is concerned, electric cars will not only be ready by 2040, but will probably have surpassed combustion vehicles before then.
Here are five reasons why you don’t need to panic about the diesel & petrol ban:
Electric cars will have the same range as petrol cars by 2020
A recent report by the Dutch bank ING predicted that all the vehicles sold in Europe would be electric by 2035.
While that might sound like fantasy, the report makes some other predictions to back it up. One of those is that the current ‘range anxiety’ that has plagued electric cars will become non-existent in just three years time.
That’s right, a full 20 years before the diesel and petrol ban electric cars will be able to drive as far as their combustion counterparts before needing to fill up.
Electric cars are currently the single easiest solution to replacing combustion vehicles.
As such companies like Tesla and LG are already investing billions in R&D to make sure that batteries are lighter, more powerful and can be charged far quicker.
Toyota recently confirmed that it was already working on a brand-new type of ‘Solid State’ battery that is not only safer than the current technology but packs in more range and can be charged in just minutes.
What’s even more promising is that Toyota believes it can start putting these batteries in cars by around 2020.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, Tesla’s current technology can already charge its most powerful car to 80% in just 30 minutes.
There will be more charging stations than petrol stations
If you’re still worried about where to charge your new electric car then this should put your mind at ease.
There are currently around 8,459 petrol stations dotted around the UK (that’s down from over 37,000 in 1970).
In comparison there are a little over 4,500 charging stations dotted around the country. While that might not sound like much, consider these two points:
1) Electric cars can be charged at home, something you definitely can’t do with a petrol or diesel car. If you’re a regular commuter this pretty much negates the need for you to ever need a charging station that isn’t attached to the wall of your house.
2) A report by Nissan in 2016 predicted that by 2020 the number of public charging stations would actually outnumber the amount of petrol stations.
Electric cars will cost the same as petrol cars
At the moment it’s fair to say electric cars are not cheap.
Tesla’s Model S starts at around £60,000 going all the way up to a whopping £120,000 if you want the full-range model.
Even the company’s Model 3 is expected to cost around £35,000 in the UK. Not exactly entry-level.
Don’t panic though. You see cars like the Model 3 are going to bring the price down drastically, and quickly too.
It’s all thanks to economies of scale. As Tesla and LG start mass-producing the batteries for the Model 3 at their vast Gigafactory the price will inevitably start going down.
The first example of this could be the new 2018 model of the Nissan Leaf. The current model starts at £16,680. If Nissan can offer their new model with a vastly improved range at that price then it will mark the start of a downward spiral for electric car prices.
The roof on your house could charge your car
While the weather hasn’t always been the United Kingdom’s strongest asset it could still be harnessed in such a way that you wouldn’t ever need to pay to charge your car.
Tesla recently unveiled its brand-new solar roof tile, a revolutionary solar panel that looks just like a conventional roof tile.
The idea is that rather than installing custom panels on your existing roof you instead replace the roof with Tesla’s tiles.
Why? Well Tesla believes that in addition to the fact they can generate electricity the tiles are cheaper and stronger than conventional roof tiles.
You can then store the electricity either in one of Tesla’s home batteries to then be used to charge the car, or you can have it feed directly into powering your home.