In short, probably not – but where is the fun in just writing that? Why do I think this? Well, there are many factors that include, an infrastructure that we do not have, lack of recycling the batteries and even the lack of range most electric vehicles (EVs) have to offer.
Let’s look at the Vauxhall Corsa, a small, efficient and an affordable hatchback. In a 2018, a study was carried out by Euro Car Parts. This included the top 10 best selling cars of the year and the how far each car could go on one full tank of fuel. Sure, the Corsa finished 10th but, it covered 606.28 miles! Not all of us could manage that, if any of us, given that we will inevitably run into track or, conditions are never perfect. However, that is an impressive range by any means. Now let’s compare that to the brand new ‘Corsa-e’ – Vauxhall’s answer to the production of EVs. The ‘British brand since 1903’, claims the Corsa-e can cover 209 miles on a single full charge. Nearly a third of its predecessor. I mean, I like the design of it but that will not help me get from London to Birmingham and back – actually, neither will the battery! It isn’t a bad first effort at an EV for Vauxhall, but they have some catching up to do as they’re up against some big EV names – Tesla and Jaguar. Just short of 210 miles, yet Jaguar has managed to supposedly squeeze 292 miles in a car that weighs another 700kg. Not only does it have a relatively large range for EVs, it won design of the year and car of the year in 2019 – still doesn’t help with its range though.
Now another issue with EVs is the general accessibility for the general public. These EVs are not cheap. Neither are most new cars nowadays but, you can get small second-hand internal combustion engine (ICE) cars for as little as you like – if you’re not picky! By 2035 there will be obviously be second-hand EVs but like every second-hand car you can run the risk of it having mechanical issues but not only this, the range on an ICE car doesn’t deteriorate massively. The power may drop a couple horsepower over the years, and it may run a little less efficiently, but it will not deplete like a battery does.
Talking of accessibility – charge points. Do you know where your closest charge point is (not counting one on your drive, if you have one)? Many houses across the UK do not have a driveway to have their own plug for their EV. The government have found an answer to this – charge points are being made from streetlights for street parking however, what about terraced housing. It is typical for streetlights to be spread 60 yards apart within a residential area. How many cars do you think can park on a street within 60-yard intervals? Far too many to plug them all into one streetlight. How does the government plan on tackling this, not everyone has time in their day to stop off at a service station for an hour to quick charge up to 60% charge each day? I know I don’t, I would rather get an extra hour in bed!
Finally, is it likely that in 15 years we will find a resolution to throwing batteries away safely and in a manner that does not affect the environment, after all, this is what we are banning ICEs for in the first place. Right now, it seems likely that EVs are worse for the environment than ICEs. I say this because in most countries there is a grid that does not run from 100% renewable energy. If it did then an EV would only have to cover 30,000km to equal the environmental impact of an ICE – this is known as the ‘CO2 lag’. However, like most countries out there, on a non-renewable grid, the CO2 lag would be in the 200,000km bracket and we don’t even know if the EVs will still be at the same quality as when they were first out the factory.
At the end of all this, I hope the government can build the infrastructure for this plan however, I do not want to lose the ICE or at least the ability to maintain the ICE vehicles nor do I want to lose petrol stations. They give a different feel to driving.
Let us know whether you think the UK government will manage their aim by 2035 – to stop all production of ICEs.
Written by Mattie @ Grease Monkey Motors