2030 vehicle ban may be ‘as simple’ as swapping cars for electric

The UK is less than seven years away from the deadline to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, the biggest measure in the transition to electric vehicles. Certain new hybrid vehicles will be authorised for sale between 2030 and 2035 provided they can travel a significant distance without releasing emissions.

Some businesses and fleets are already starting to switch to electric vehicles and preparing the infrastructure needed to cope with the level of charging.

Paul Holland, Managing Director for UK Fleet, Allstar, commented on the global transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric and what barriers the industry faces.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Going electric isn’t as simple as swapping every ICE vehicle for an EV – although it can be. 

“A company that has a small fleet of company cars for salespeople and executives can simply change their existing vehicles to EVs as needed, and provided their drivers have access to home charging there should not be any major changes needed. 

“Fleet managers may want to switch from general fuel cards to those specific to EVs (EV charging cards) so that their drivers could use public charge points, but otherwise day-to-day operations will stay the same. 

“Other companies will have to do more work to prepare,” Mr Holland told Express.co.uk.

The latest data from New AutoMotive’s Electric Car Count found that there has been a 60 percent increase year-on-year in electric car sales.

The electric vehicle market share also grew significantly by five percent to make up 16 percent of the market.

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While petrol and diesel vehicle sales continue to slump, electric cars are the only market segment to grow in both volume and market share.

Additionally, electric vans are also experiencing a massive surge in popularity, taking up seven percent of the market share in April, with year-on-year growth of 55 percent.

Many are calling on manufacturers to ensure their supply chains are ready before the first year of the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate begins in 2024.

Mr Holland added: “A company with large numbers of vehicles that see a lot of use – a delivery company for instance – may have to take a look at their operations and make some changes to adapt to the way that EVs differ from ICE vehicles.

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“For example, EVs still take significantly longer to recharge (on the lower end chargepoints) than their ICE vehicle counterparts do to refuel at a traditional pump. 

“So, while managers could ignore the few minutes spent to top up the petrol or diesel on an ICE vehicle they will have to factor in more time with an EV, especially if they have long routes.”

He warned that this could lead to businesses needing to buy extra vehicles to compensate for the time being spent charging.

Another solution could be to find ways in which fleet vehicles could be effectively charged outside of working hours, including at home or at work.

For many businesses, especially those involved in transporting goods, they will buy larger vehicles capable of going longer distances and carrying more weight.

At the end of April 2023, there were 42,566 electric vehicle charging stations across the UK, at almost 25,000 different charging locations.

The data, from Zap-Map, represented a 37 percent increase in the total number of charging devices since last April.

A massive £6billion funding investment was unveiled at the end of April from ChargeUK, the new campaign group working to boost the uptake of EVs in the UK.

With the new investment, it is hoped that the UK’s electric car charging network will double in 2023.

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