The government have pledged to ban petrol and diesel vehicles as well as hybrid vehicles by 2035. Once the ban comes in, only new electric (or hydrogen powered) vehicles will be allowed to be purchased.
But what progress has been made with electric vehicles and how ready are people and the UK for significant growth in the number of electric vehicles on the road?
Here we look at some of the factors which may influence people’s perceptions of the ease with which to switch to an electric vehicle and factors which impact the speed with which people switch to electric vehicles.
Electric vehicle mileage capacity
One of the big concerns many people have around electric vehicles is the range and mileage capabilities. Yet, the average range of EV is the UK is between 150-200 miles. Which should be enough range for most people to complete their normal daily journeys without having to recharge.
Batteries continue to improve, with Tesla recently announcing that they are working on a battery capable of a 400 mile range.
So, is the concern about mileage justified? Or is it the ability and ease with which people can recharge electric vehicles which is the real concern? Switching to an electric vehicle will of course require a mindset change – charging a vehicle will take longer than simply filling up with petrol or diesel so will require more organisation and planning particularly ahead of long journeys.
Infrastructure for charging
There is a grant scheme for at home chargers and at work charging points funded via the Office of Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV). The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides funding of up to 75% of the cost of installing charging points at a domestic property. And as of July 2019 only smart chargers can be funded via the government scheme. These aim to keep costs of charging down and reduce peaks of electricity demands.
In terms of the charging network across the UK to enable drivers to charge their cars mid journey, there are currently 17,698 public charging devices located around the UK in 10,965 locations. And a total of 30,741 connectors according to ZapMap. The government has recently pledged to continue investing in the car charging network with the vision that no one should ever be more than 30 miles away from their nearest charging point.
Another factor to keep in mind is the pressure that people charging their vehicles could have on the energy grid. One sturdy carried out recently suggests there could be charging peaks at certain times of day – late afternoon/early evening for at home charging, And between 7-10am for away from home charging. The study suggests managed charging may be required as the number of electric vehicles grows to avoid too much pressure on the energy grid.
To effect real change, people will need to be confident in the charging infrastructure around the UK as well as a willingness to install charging units at home. Grants and continued investment should hopefully help with this potential obstacle.
We blogged recently about the insurance impacts of electric vehicles. And much of this remains relevant today.
Many of the large insurance companies now offer cover for electric vehicles. But in some cases, an electric vehicle insurance policy can be more expensive than cover for a petrol/diesel vehicle. This could be fuelled by a perception that electric vehicles will be used for short journeys. These may then be viewed as riskier from an insurance perspective contributing to higher premiums.
In any case the insurance industry will need to continue to see a pace of change which keeps up with the number of electric vehicles on the road and the likely rapid increases as we move towards the governments 2035 deadline.
Commercial use and electric vehicles
This BBC article lists one of the 5 biggest challenges to electric vehicles as the limited choice currently available. Particularly when it comes to electric vans. Those which are available are significantly more expensive than petrol/diesel versions. This could be a big barrier to small businesses and those who are self employed
We took a look at progress in the electric truck market back in 2019, but few big break throughs have happened in the UK since. Recent news has focussed on trials of the Volta electric truck being set to take place in the UK and Paris next year with prototypes expected to launch later in 2020.
Ultimately, for fleets and commercial vehicles to keep up more is needed in terms of viable alternatives to petrol and diesel powered vehicles.
At Anthony Jones we work with a wide range of insurers so can work hard to access the right cover for your vehicle. Whether that is a petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle. We can also organise insurance for personal vehicles as well as vehicles for commercial use and fleets of vehicles. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about your motor and fleet insurance.