What Does The 2040 Electric Car Plan Mean For The UK?

The UK government have recently announced that they plan to ban all gas and fuel powered cars by 2040, but what does this mean for UK car owners? Well, if you don’t plan on buying a new car straight after 2040, not much in the immediate future. The ban that is to be implemented only refers to the manufacture of new cars, not the mass removal of current ones. So, don’t worry, you won’t find yourself suddenly breaking the law when this ruling comes into place, it just means that you won’t be able to buy a new fuel powered car in the future. That said, a potential charge on people still driving fuel cars is still on the cards, but is yet to be commented upon officially.

How will I charge my new car?

Well, according to various sources, petrol stations as we know them today will begin to slowly disappear . Obviously they cannot vanish as soon as the law comes into place; there will still be a fair few fuel powered cars on the road for the foreseeable future. But, eventually, they will all disappear.

Because of their contaminated land, it’s unlikely that charging stations will directly replace them, but in other spots around the area, on motorways and in towns and cities, electrical charging points will pop up. Work has already begun in preparation for the increase in electric cars on the roads.

The huge problem that faces electric cars currently is their charge time. Some pure electric cars can currently take as long as 8 hours to fully charge, which is obviously impractical if you were to make a stop on a motorway or other such scenario. Many have suggested that solar powered cars are the way forward, meaning that you would not need to stop at all. Even through the night you’d be able to drive due to battery charging through the day. These are some of the many ideas and questions asked of the government following their decision to ban fuel powered cars.

Perhaps the one saving grace here is that there are many countries that will implement this law well before us, leaving us with plenty of case studies to improve our planning.

How far can an electric car drive on one full charge?

The answer to this question depends on the battery capacity of your chosen model. At present there are only a few fully electric models in circulation. But it is likely that after 2040, when electric car technology has advanced in preparation for the ban, there will be many more cars in commercial circulation with much bigger potential.

At present the average mileage from 1 kWh of charge in your car is 3-4 miles. This can be multiplied by the installed capacity in your car. This can range massively. One of the most popular fully electric cars, the BMW i8, only has a 7 kWh battery, which means the maximum mileage lies at around 21 miles. Whereas the Tesla Model S 100d has a battery size of 100 kWh, which would take you between 300 – 400 miles.

At present, it’s fair to say that driving a car like the BMW i8 is pretty pointless and would cause more stress than needed. Each journey would have to be meticulously planned and would ideally not be further than 10 miles from your home. Even though it has a very quick charge speed and only costs around 70p per full charge, the negatives greatly outway the positives.

How will the grid cope with the huge added electricity demand?

At present we are unaware how the grid will cope with the huge added demand for electricity in the grid. National Grid have spoken sparingly on the subject, expressing their concerns. Their backup reserve of European power is expected to rise from the current 4 GW to 19 GW in 2030 . As with anything, this is going to take years of gradual process with exponential growth within renewable energy generation. As this move was made with our environmental targets in mind and the general quality of British air, efforts towards making sure that the electricity used for our new cars is clean and sustainable is key.

As mentioned above, we are not the only country to be undergoing this monumental infrastructure change. Countries such as The Netherlands, Norway and India have their sights set with much shorter deadlines, Norway as early as 2025. After we have seen how such countries have dealt with this issue, we will be in good stead to adapt our infrastructure as necessary.

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