I believe that climate change is real, I like electric cars and I want to contribute to saving the planet. Unexpected words from a motoring journalist, eh?
Despite that, today’s news of the introduction of a ban on everything but zero-emission vehicles by 2035 smacks of a government, criticised heavily for not doing enough for the environment, looking for a quick win of public confidence.
That’s not to say that the government shouldn’t encourage the uptake of EVs – it absolutely should. For example, by offering decent incentives for buyers (rather than reducing them as the government did in 2018) or by supporting infrastructure.
Just last month, the Department for Transport announced it was doubling EV charger funding to £10 million with a focus on on-street charging to encourage urban dwellers to buy electric cars.
Yet today, when a minister was asked how much they would invest in infrastructure, the response was “whatever it takes”. That’s as vague a promise as there ever was…
There is, however, a difference between encouragement and a ban. As more and more brands introduce EVs to the market, it’s inevitable that uptake will grow regardless, even if EVs currently only account for 1.6% of the overall new car market.