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Say Goodbye To Your Petrol Or Diesel Car. Electric Is Coming!

Is It Time To Scrap Your Petrol Or Diesel Car Yet? Electricity Is The Fastest Going Energy Source For New Cars In The World Today!

Aug 15, 2014

Say Goodbye To Your Petrol Or Diesel Car. Electric Is Coming!

Over recent years the number of electric cars on British roads has risen dramatically. Models such as the Nissan Leaf are cheap to run and environmentally friendly and have proved to be a massive hit with their owners.

However, many drivers are still reluctant to commit to an electric vehicle because of concerns about their range and the need for regular charging. We look at the current electric car market in the UK and whether electric cars will ever replace petrol and diesel vehicles. Keep reading to find out more.

Electric car sales on the rise

The most recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that, while there were just a handful of electric cars on the road three years ago, there are now nearly 10,000.

There were 1,200 electric vehicles sold in the UK in March 2014, compared with just 270 in the same month last year. Meanwhile 10,200 hybrid cars – using electricity and petrol or diesel – have been sold in Britain this year, up 45 per cent on last year.

Electric car sales in Ireland are following a similar trend. There were 124 newly-licensed electric cars in Ireland in first half of this year, an increase of over 500 per cent on the number licensed last year (just 23 cars).

Worldwide, more than 400,000 electric cars are on the road, four times more than in 2011.

Despite government support for the electric car industry and investment by companies such as Nissan, sales figures in the UK are lower than in other developed countries. The USA has by far the largest number, with more than 194,000 sold since 2008. Japan has 74,000 electric cars and in the Netherlands and Denmark they account for 5 per cent of the total car market.

And, The Guardian reports that in Norway, where 20 per cent of all cars sold are electric, it is getting harder to find unoccupied public charging facilities.

Will electric cars ever replace petrol and diesel vehicles?

As electric car sales continue to rise, will there ever be a time when the majority of us are driving electric vehicles?

Experts believe that the market will continue to grow but disagree on whether they will ever replace petrol and diesel vehicles. Ian Robertson, BMW’s global marketing chief, says: “The market is approaching a tipping point, where battery power will become as normal as petrol or diesel. If you look back over the past three years, the electric car market has multiplied by a factor of 25.

"There's no doubt that it's coming and it's coming quickly and there is legislation supporting this in many cities."

However, other experts are more realistic in their prediction. Jay Nagley, head of vehicle consultancy Redspy, says that most carmakers expect pure electric cars to account for 2-3 per cent of the market by 2020.

The future of electric cars is likely to be determined by technological advances. More powerful batteries that allow motorists to drive further between charges are likely to increase the take-up of these vehicles. The cost of these cars is also likely to have to fall to make them more appealing to buyers.

Mr Nagley says: "People who buy them are very happy with them. Everyone knows about their range limitation, but owners become quite evangelical. Year by year, battery packs are improving. A huge amount of money is being invested in the new generation of batteries."

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, believes that a road network full of electric cars is still some way off. He said: “Only one thing will lead to a mass market for the greenest cars: a competitive price. At the right price anything can be sold. But most consumers calculate that even with the subsidies on offer these vehicles do not currently make economic sense.

"This is not the fault of the media. Ultimately what is needed is a big leap in battery technology, to increase range and reduce manufacturing costs. That is not yet in sight.” 

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