A comprehensive “ten point plan” has been perceived by UK government to boost “green industrial revolution” under which, putting a complete ban on the sale of combustion engine by the year 2030, is also the one among the prominent line-of-action. With a broader vision, the policy has various other points of emphasis as well, such as job creation, tech advancement, attracting more investment as well as the overall industry boost, while the transport factor is critical and central to all other related fields and by making such a declaration, the UK government has sent the message across corporate and social quarters loud and clear about its great green intent, it has planned.
This is, however, an interesting aspect that the declaration comes just after the a mega American business alliance is forged among Tesla, Rivian and Uber, under which purposeful efforts are planned to widen the sale of electric vehicles, in fact, by stretching the market share to utmost 100% by the coming 10 years. The announcement is termed as Zeta 2030. Such a development is said to be nurtured by a disgusting scenario where US utilities snapped ties with the fossil fuel companies as the latter had started advocating and using e-vehicles and green energy as per analysis brought into light by Atlantic’s Robin Meyer.
As per industry groups, they regard the decision of transforming the UK roads to chase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as a “Herculean effort”. As a matter of fact, the goalpost has been reset which also results in rescheduling the deadline by 10 years, that is, which originally was 2040, it is now set at 2030. Such is a part of wider effort to make UK carbon neutral by the year 2050.
But, to keep up with the rapid sales, RAC also emphasizes the need to proliferate the charging network “exponentially”, while trade body SMMT nudges for better incentives so as to make electric cars available at lesser prices. Nonetheless, the ban has attracted a great support as AA president Edmond King expressed hope, ”With considerable investment and focus, the electric revolution could flourish”.
That was initially in the year 2017 that mission was set to clean up air of the city and ban on sale of petrol and diesel cars, was mulled over, with the expected timeframe of 2040. But in February, the target was reset to the year 2035 as there was proposed a climate summit in Glasgow which is now-postponed and UK government had to present its credentials in the gathering.
As on November 17th, 2020, the plan was announced and government made a bevy of promises, such as:
- To install charge points in streets, motorways and in homes across England, to enable and re-charge e-vehicles and a huge amount of 1.3 billion pounds has been set aside for the purpose,
- The buyers of e-vehicles or low emission vehicles will find such vehicles cheaper as 582 million pounds of grant is set aside to make such vehicles an economical and hence an affordable affair. More and more people have to get incentives to push forth the transition on popular scale.
- Next four years will witness the spending of 500 million pounds to encourage mass production of e-vehicles, batteries and other components crucial to such system,
Challenges Enmeshed With Costs:
To pursue the goal of 2030 is challenging to the car industry, as in the previous year, only 1.6% of overall cars purchased, were enabled by battery, while this year has seen a rise in such sales, which can be due to new EU laws related to emissions due to which zero-emission models are being manufactured on a wider scale now.
As a result, there has been a steep enhancement in system of electric cars while such involve a huge cost to manufacture and therefore, huge incentives are always needed for the purpose of economical sales to end consumers.
Mike Hawes, head of Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) hailed new incentives but also complained,”……”
ZapMap reveals the presence of 20,197 points of charging dotted across UK but the number is growing and among these, majority comprises of high-powered rapid or ultra-rapid charging points.
Clearly, when we plan and execute the decision of turning millions of petrol or diesel cars into battery-enabled one, a huge number of charging points will be in a great need.
Nicholas Ryes, RAC head of road policy observes, “many drivers find owning the electric cars daunting, due to concerns about their range and the lack of charging points”.
He went on to state, “Some of these problems will disappear as the average range of electric vehicles increases, but it’s vital that the government continues to invest in developing a fast, reliable and widely available network of chargers that support electric vehicle owners no matter what their circumstances or travel plans”.
To build a framework of rapid chargers around the land, Osprey is the group that looks after this task and has already set up 182 till now while 2000 more to come up, its CEO Ian Johnson maintains that drivers shouldn’t be in doubt, “because there are now a number of private entities investing hundreds of millions of pounds in deploying thousands of public charging points each year”.
But he also seeks government’s support and says, “a competitive marketplace at key locations, such as motorway service stations”.
Ian Plummer, Commercial director of Auto Trader talks about the surveys conducted by his company that other than the dilemma among the future buyers about locating a charging point easily, he maintains, ”the key barrier to mass adoption remains upfront cost”.
He is also concerned about the worst situation to unfold if post Brexit trade deal is not reached upon with the EU. In his words, “Tariffs of around 10%will be applied to cars coming into the UK, so the cost of electric vehicles could be as much as 30% more than what consumers are used to spending on petrol or diesel cars today”.
Rebecca Newsom, who is from environmental group Greenpeace, also expressed happiness on the decision to ban the sale and termed it, “a major milestone in the fight against the climate crisis”, which would empower Britain, “in pole position in the race to seize the jobs and economic opportunities of an electric future”.