The UK government has pledged that by 2040 the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned.
Therefore, British officials should be doing all they can to push the nation to invest in electric and hybrid vehicles.
However, the government has recently slashed grants for such vehicles, which has pushed the price of them up by £1,000 since October. As a result, 16 million drivers can’t afford an electric car and the future of an EV only world is in jeopardy.
As of 21 October, the government scrapped the grants on offer for hybrid cars, while the electric car discounts were reduced by £1,000. British consumers have been able to access discounts on green cars since 2011 as the government pushed to reduce road emissions.
These grants have been beneficial to drivers. Jack Cousens of the AA states that “Seven out of 10 drivers say grants are necessary to buy an ultra-low emission vehicle until such time that the price compared to a conventional petrol or diesel car is the same.” So, the government’s latest move appears to be somewhat detrimental to their long-term plans.
The most popular and affordable electric vehicle available in the UK is the Nissan Leaf. It comes with an average price tag of £26,000, but this price is still higher than the £25,000 limit that the majority of consumers are prepared to pay. The good news is that drivers who do want to go green can get their hands on a more affordable electric car by opting for a used vehicle. This is Money reports that the average price on a used electric vehicle on Auto Trader is £19,578, which is just slightly above the average new vehicle spend of £19,000.
Getting the public on board
British consumers already have reservations regarding electric and hybrid vehicles. Just 17% of drivers saying they’ll buy an electric vehicle next. This is most likely due to 53% worrying about how and where they’ll charge their vehicle and one in ten being concerned about high insurance costs.
The government’s incentives were one of the only things to persuade consumers to ditch high emission vehicles. But now that the incentives are no longer available, the public is being forced to choose between helping the environment and looking after their personal finances.
With a clear goal in mind, the UK government should be encouraging British drivers to switch to green vehicles. However, their recent actions have made electric and hybrid vehicles unobtainable for millions. As a result, it’s unlikely that consumers will give up their petrol and diesel vehicles any time soon.