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On today’s podcast:
- UK confirm 2030 ban for new petrol and diesel vehicles
- Becomes first major car market to bring forward ban to 2030
- Massive investment in charging and incentives
- How UK compares to rest of the world
- What key figures said in reaction today
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Wednesday 18th November. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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UK BECOMES EARLIEST MAJOR CAR MARKET TO ANNOUNCE 2030 COMBUSTION BAN
The UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, 10 years earlier than previously announced, as part of a 10 Point plan announced by our Prime Minister today. Boris Johnson is calling this the “green industrial revolution” as wind power, nuclear, hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage all got promoted today part of our legally binding goal to hit emissions targets.
£1.3bn of cash will be injected into new car charging infrastructure and £580m for EV grants to encourage buyers into new models. However one point to note is that hybrids are allowed until 2035 if they travel significant range on electric. That range? Not announced today.
It’s a bold move that will give the market a clear sense of direction. It allows for investment in skills training from auto technicians to emergency responders. For fleet buyers to run cost analysis. For towns and cities to press on with plans for zero-emission zones to clear up the air around our kids schools. For charging companies to justify extra investment from their investors.
Here’s the plan:
“Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.”
Following extensive consultation with car manufacturers and sellers, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, ten years earlier than planned. However we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.
The UK car industry already manufactures a significant proportion of electric vehicles in Europe, including one of the most popular models in the world.
To support this acceleration, the Prime Minister has announced:
£1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars.
£582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition.
Nearly £500 million to be spent in the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, as part of our commitment to provide up to £1 billion, boosting international investment into our strong manufacturing bases including in the Midlands and North East.
This will help protect and create thousands of new jobs, particularly in the Midlands, North East, and North Wales.
We will also launch a consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs to put the UK in the vanguard of zero emission freight. No date has been set yet.
So how does the UK compare? California have set the aim of banning fossil cars and trucks by 2035. Whilst that was an executive order, it’s still intent. Norway already has around 75% of new vehicles having a plug socket, almost half of all the new cars sold in the first half of 2020 were fully electric. This is a country built, in part, on oil and gas revenue. And they have an even more ambitious target. 2025 is the date set parliamentary goal for only zero-emission cars, light vehicles and urban buses being sold.
Some German cities already ban older diesels. In China they want 50% of new car sales to be NEV by 2035. India is consulting their vehicle makers on a 2030 ban for new vehicles. Scotland was 2032 before today’s announcement, we’ll see if they come in line with the PM’s ambitions. Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland all 2030. In France and Spain it’s currently 2040 but as countries like the UK make these promises, we’ll be watched closely to see if green policies are vote winners, or vote losers. Sorry for being cynical! And you’ll notice I’ve said nothing of Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, South America, Australia, any kind of U.S. policy which aligns all 50 states.
Why is ambition policy so important? Because there ARE places where it has already been achieved. Shenzhen in Southern China has the largest electric fleet of buses and taxis in the world. They started in the lawmaking 2008 and the buses hit the road from 2010, to improve air quality. And if you want to buy a petrol car, you have to enter a government lottery, or auction. But you can buy an EV any time you want. Money and technology followed policy.
Boris Johnson wrote yesterday for the Financial Times: “we’ll invest more than £2.8bn in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points and creating long-lasting batteries in UK gigafactories. This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030. However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035. On Wednesday I will meet UK businesses to discuss their contribution. We plan to provide clear timetables for the clean energy we will procure, details of the regulations we will change, and the carbon prices that we will put on emissions. I will establish a “task force net zero” committed to reaching net zero by 2050, and through next year’s COP26 summit we will urge countries and companies around the world to join us in delivering net zero globally. Green and growth can go hand-in-hand. So let us meet the most enduring threat to our planet with one of the most innovative and ambitious programmes of job-creation we have known.”
What can we do to help people get into an EV. The U.S. has a $7500 federal tax break for manufacturers who haven’t yet sold 200k vehicles – something which many say now unfairly hinders the early adopters who took the risks, like Tesla and GM. So that may change under a Biden administration to boost domestic EV production – a ‘Made In America’ rebate? In France there’s up to 12,000Euros off a new EV if you also scrap an old combustion car. What would make you buy an EV?
For fleets it’s Total Cost of Ownership. And so many them are more than ahead of the general public on this. Fleet buyers can see that when you factor in cheaper electricity, they save money with EVs. Large fleet will take a long time to change over, and many do it in step with adding charging at depots or where vehicles are kept often overnight.
Jim Holder is the Editorial director, Haymarket Automotive: “So, new EVs and PHEVs only from 2030, just EVs from 2035. Nothing to fear from the ambition, plenty of challenges in the execution. Huge hurdles ahead, but those that should know say it’s entirely doable with the right investment and mindset. Can we be world-leading? Why not…”
Jonny Smith @CarPErvert: “New piston cars banned in UK from 2030. As I said before, the key word here is new. EV charging is improving every quarter, as car ranges improve. Interesting petrol cars will survive for occasional amusement, EVs do bulk of the miles. I’m cool with that.
Autocar said: “So far, individual manufacturers have been mainly mute on the changes and their effects, although their collective body, the SMMT, called them “extremely concerning” while issuing a broad welcome. BMW has given voice, noting that the UK is only one of its 140 markets and somewhat of a lone voice, but it expects to be well able to supply UK-compliant cars when the law changes.”
And Mike Hawes is the head of a lobby group which many car makers, interesting not TEsla, are part of. His job is to speak on their behalf and, as is the point of a trade association, sometimes to say things the car makers don’t want to be saying directly themselves. He told the BBC
Andy Eastlake, Managing Director – Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership: “Its clear and ambitious but we believe necessary and achievable, if we work in partnership!””
Keith Johnston, Cofounder greentech biz @urbaneleclondon retractable on-st charging hubs.”As we scale up for the 2030 ban, we need on-street fast charging infrastructure that “reduces the streetscape impact of charge points, maintaining accessibility of the pavement for pedestrians””
Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee: “The 2030 commitment to phase-out sales of petrol and diesel cars and vans is *massive*. It’s a transport commitment, a consumer commitment, and an industry commitment. Crucially, it will drive fundamental change in the whole energy system. So its impact can’t be overstated.”
Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) Scotland: “The move towards electric transportation can play its part, and that should include phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2025, instead of the current target of 2032.”
Adam Vaughan. Chief reporter, @newscientist: “On petrol/diesel ban, there is a big concession to the motoring industry – govt appears to be allowing new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be sold until 2035, judging from language. (e.g. so ones Mistubishi Outlander PHEV okay, mild hybrids like old Toyota Prius prob not)”
Some of the madness media coverage: “The law on having a petrol or diesel car is set to change”. https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/law-having-petrol-diesel-car-19299959
IN conclusion: it’s unquestionably a good thing. The devil is in the detail. What do they mean by allowing hybrids which do a significant distance? Is that 10 miles, or 100 miles? And here’s the key thing – it’s only for new vehicles. And it’s 9 years away. EVs are more silicon valley than detroit. It’s hard for us, and it’s part of human nature, to comprehend the pace of innovation. We either tend to massively under estimate or over estimate innovation. It’s 2020 and I’m still waiting for my hoverboard. And yet the phone I carry around with me is the stuff of science fiction.
So what phone were you using 9 years ago? The iPhone 3G (and apps you could download from the recently launched App Store), Blackberry Bold, Google’s Nexus One, Nokia’s Symbian-powered N8. We know from VW’s plans to sell 20 million EV’s a year by 2030, from China’s aggressive EV industry, from Tesla’s plan to become their own cell maker which allows for a range of 500, 600, 700 miles. And that’s probably by 2025, another 5 years after that it will just be normal.
Battery costs have come down over the last 10 years form $1000/kWh to $100kWh. That’s the most expensive part of an EV and costs are coming down. EVs are already cheaper to buy than combustion cars when you factor in running costs and lack of servicing over a typical ownership period. Soon, cheaper to buy. At that point you don’t need state of national governments to be involved. Economics takes over. The pound in your pocket, the dollar in your wallet is stronger than anything else. EVs are better in every way, and if the trend of the last 10 years continues, soon they’re cheaper to buy.
Finally, I’ll conclude with perception. I’m interested in this, and so you are because you’ve got to the end, but most people are busy having a life. They’ll read the headlines – “petrol cars being banned!” – and that will impact buying decisions and residual prices. Who’s buying a diesel car today when they’re going to be worth nothing when you come to sell it. Maybe not reality, but perception.
What do you think? Leave me a comment.
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