Today, in case you have not noticed, we have been invited to be part of History. It may seems confusing, but I am meaning it. The UK government has today announced that sale of Petrol/Diesel cars will be stopped by 2040.
I know it may seem a long time form now, but if you think ever meet a car with a registration number starting with R, well, that was build in 1997, that is 20 years ago, and ruffly close to the deadline announced by the government.
If you are reading this post, you are more than luckily going to be part of this “transition”. Fuel engine have been part of our lives since the early 20th century, and for many years, people have been calling for a change in the use of this engine, to be swapped with something greener.
What does it means for us
The example that I posted above (about the car build in 1997), highlights that many cars that are going to our of factory today, may still be in circulation when the deadline occur. In the next years, many motoring will “automatically” transition to electric cars, because by a new car that runs on fuel would be economically incorrect, as they will loose value quickly as the deadline approaches.
The latest release of the Tesla Model 3 has probably played an important role in this government decisions. Tesla has managed to start “mass production” of this new car model, and this has helped to start and push the prices down, and started a economic war between all big car manufactures.
Tesla model is around £ 24.000 that is around the same price of a medium range car. This will not allow buyers to be able to make their choices depending on model preferences and not just price (until now all electric cars have always been considerably more expensive).
What does it mean for the government
Even if the news have sparked excitement around the country, there is still lots that need to be done for this to actually happen.
Electric cars are not only cleaner than cars fitted with fuel engine, but their are also considerably cheaper to run. On average an electric car will use around 3-4KWh for every 10 miles. That translate to around 48p (applying a general cost of 12p for KWh).
The government has two main duties to facilitate this transition. First they will have to provide enough electricity ( more details below) and create enough charging station around the country (maybe give incentive to people that may supply this service). Next, they need to continue to push incentive, by providing scrapper scheme and grants to buy new electric cars. Having too many Fuel car still around by 2040, could create market instability due to the quick market value volatility of fuel cars.
How much electricity is required when all cars turn electric
Unfortunately this has its side effect. In fact the Guardian wrote that there are around 90k electric cars in UK right now, and if we change all cars to be electric, this number will peak to around 9M. This could add an extreme demand on our national grid, requiring up to 30% extra energy. (Very simplistic calculation found on the quora website).
This figure is huge (Thousands of TWh), there would be need over many nuclear plants and hundreds of wind farm, all would need to be build in a short amount of time (build a power plant take a long time).
It is amazing, that we will be all part of something so amazing. Our generation, will be remembered for this amazing change ( and hopefully also for landing on mars :).
The french government early this month gave an even bigger statement. In fact, France has announced that they will “ban all petrol and diesel car by 2040). Now this news are going to be followed by car manufacturers like VOLVO that has recently announced that “all new models will have electric motors by 2019”.
What we have to do now is wait, wait for history to be written in front of our eyes, and also for the “price war” to began, hoping that electric car will get great models and low prices.
During my childhood I would have never believed to be able to live this moment, and hopefully in 23 year form now, I will be here again to share the moment with you.