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Key questions answered on electric cars

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030.

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The switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric models is having a major impact on the UK’s automotive industry (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric models is having a major impact on the UK’s automotive industry (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric models is having a major impact on the UK’s automotive industry (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric models is having a major impact on the UK’s automotive industry.

Here the PA news agency answers 12 key questions on the issue.

– What is the Government’s policy on banning conventionally fuelled cars?

Sales of new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be prohibited from 2030.

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The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030 (Johnny Green/PA)

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030 (Johnny Green/PA)

PA

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030 (Johnny Green/PA)

– What about hybrids?

The sale of vehicles that can travel a “significant distance” with no carbon emissions will not be banned until 2035.

– Why has the Government done this?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the policy is vital to enable the UK to meet its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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Boris Johnson (House of Commons/PA)

Boris Johnson (House of Commons/PA)

PA

Boris Johnson (House of Commons/PA)

– What will replace the banned cars?

It is expected that many petrol and diesel cars on the road will be replaced by electric models, which are the most common type of alternatively fuelled vehicle.

– What impact will the 2030 ban have on electric cars?

The policy is likely to reduce the cost of owning and running electric vehicles as they become more widespread.

But it could also lead to people who want to stick to petrol or diesel choosing a used car – which would not be banned under current plans – rather than a new electric one.

– How have manufacturers responded?

Jaguar Land Rover announced last month that Jaguar will only offer electric-powered vehicles from 2025.

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Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich manufacturing facility (Aaron Chown/PA)

Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich manufacturing facility (Aaron Chown/PA)

PA

Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich manufacturing facility (Aaron Chown/PA)

Ford said all its cars and vans will have an electric or plug-in hybrid option by mid-2024, before its cars go pure electric by the end of the decade.

– What about battery production?

There are concerns that UK car manufacturers will be uncompetitive without more investment in electric car battery production.

Most batteries used in European electric cars are produced by east Asian firms.

The UK will be required to source batteries either within the UK or the EU to avoid tariffs on exports from 2024 as part of the Brexit trade agreement.

– How do electric cars work?

Pure electric cars are powered by an electric motor using energy stored in batteries, and do not produce emissions from the tailpipe.

– How popular are electric cars?

Figures published by automotive trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show pure battery-electric new cars held a 6.6% share of the new car market in 2020, up from 1.6% during the previous 12 months.

– Why are so few sold?

Electric vehicles are generally more expensive than conventionally fuelled models, largely due to the cost of the battery.

There have also been concerns that drivers could be unable to access a charging point mid-journey, leaving them stranded.

– Where can you charge a battery?

Many owners of electric vehicles charge their vehicles overnight at home.

Drivers without off-street parking – and those embarking on long journeys – often have to rely on public charge points, such as at supermarkets, on pavements and motorway services.

– How quickly is the charging network growing?

More than 1,200 charging devices for public use were installed in the UK between October and December 2020, recent Department for Transport analysis shows.

That meant 20,775 devices were available on January 4, up by more than a quarter from 12 months earlier.

PA


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