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The Race for EVs

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As Petroleum Tanks, Will Britons Buy an EV?

September 27th 2017

Toyota Prius PHEV

The cards are stacked against petrol and diesel. 

The Government wants to ban the sale of new internal combustion engined cars in 2040. The London T-charge will be introduced next month - the first of a raft of toxin taxes due on diesel models. And, according to Confused.com's new weekly fuel price index, pump costs are at a six-month high.

Yet almost four in five drivers are still reluctant to consider buying an electric vehicle as their next car, the price comparison site said.

Fuel prices at a 6-month high: Confused.com said the cost of petrol and diesel is 7% and 6% higher respectively than it was a year ago.

Confused.com said petrol and diesel pump prices are at a six-month high, with the average cost per litre coming to 119.6p and 120.5p respectively.

The cards are stacked against petrol and diesel. 

The Government wants to ban the sale of new internal combustion engined cars in 2040. The London T-charge will be introduced next month - the first of a raft of toxin taxes due on diesel models. And, according to Confused.com's new weekly fuel price index, pump costs are at a six-month high.

Yet almost four in five drivers are still reluctant to consider buying an electric vehicle as their next car, the price comparison site said.

Petrol prices are 7% higher than this time last year
The average cost of diesel is 6% higher than in September 2016

Fuel prices at a 6-month high: Confused.com said the cost of petrol and diesel is 7% and 6% higher respectively than it was a year ago.

Confused.com said petrol and diesel pump prices are at a six-month high, with the average cost per litre coming to 119.6p and 120.5p respectively.

That's 7.6p and 7.2p more for petrol and diesel than drivers were having to pay 12 months ago, meaning the cost of filling the tank of an average-size family car has increased by £4.33 if you drive a petrol and £4.10 for diesel models.

Motoring costs in London are soon to rise, too. 

With the T-charge coming into force on 23 October, those driving into Central London in any pre-Euro 4 emissions petrol or diesel car will have to pay an additional £10 on top of the £11.50 daily Congestion Charge.

And with the introduction of Ultra Low Emissions Zones across the capital Clean Air Zones in other major UK cities in 2019, drivers are facing a surge in costs to get behind the wheel.

But it's all expected to change in 23 years' time.

The government's intention to banish diesel and petrol cars from our roads to improve air quality will see new model sales outlawed, which will see numbers fall substantially, even in the build-up to the restrictions. The cull has received a mixed reception, though.

A survey of 2,000 regular-driving Britons found that over a quarter (28 per cent) disagree with the ban. However, an equal number of motorists think it's the right thing to do in the face of the nation's air pollution crisis.

But despite escalating fuel costs and the proposed ban on selling petrol and diesel cars, research from the driver savings site found that 79 per cent of motorists are NOT looking to buy an electric car as their next vehicle.

As you can see in the table below, two in five intend to invest in a petrol-powered car next, while one in five will choose a hybrid.

Diesel, in the face of toxin taxes and the threat of further government-backed charges, has fallen out of favour, though almost twice as many motorists intend to buy next one over a zero-emissions vehicle. 

All the negativity surrounding diesel cars has resulted in more drivers wanting a hybrid instead. However, most intend to buy a petrol-powered car next

All the negativity surrounding diesel cars has resulted in more drivers wanting a hybrid instead. However, most intend to buy a petrol-powered car next

Despite the future very much being about zero-emissions electric cars, just 7% of drivers say they'll buy an EV as their next car 

Despite the future very much being about zero-emissions electric cars, just 7% of drivers say they'll buy an EV as their next car

This is despite EVs being widely acknowledged as far cheaper to run than their fossil-fuelled predecessors and a recent wave of car brands, such as Volvo, Jaguar and Honda, announcing they will be adopting an electric approach of sorts as early as 2019.

A new study has revealed that the capital’s most deprived children attend schools most affected by poor air quality, yet are likely to contribute least to traffic pollution at schools.

The research showed the combination of health factors facing children in the most polluted London schools, including social deprivation, obesity and lower levels of activity – a combination which is putting them at risk of major life-long health issues.

The report by Aether and the FIA Foundation, 'London’s Polluted Schools: the Social Context', found that one in five of London’s state schools is in an area of poor air quality - a significant issue considering that children are more vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution than adults. 

Over 85 per cent of the schools which are most affected by poor air quality have pupils from catchments more deprived than the London average, it said. 

Children attending these schools are also more likely to walk there and less likely to use a car, meaning they contribute the least to the poor air which they have to breath. 

'Where these serious social justice and environmental issues intersect, it is children who are most at risk', the report said. 

The biggest concern for the country's drivers is the lack of public charging locations, with 60 per cent of motorists saying this was a biggest issue for them.

Other high-ranking concerns include worries about how long the power will last (56 per cent), length of charging times (50 per cent) and expensive upfront costs (54 per cent). A further two in five (41 per cent) are holding on until the technology improves.

Two in five (42 per cent) openly admitted they have a dislike for electric vehicles while almost two thirds (65 per cent) claim they should be able to buy whichever fuel type they want. 

And some drivers simply don’t believe the ban will benefit the environment (40 per cent) or improve air quality (33 per cent). 

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: 'The 2040 ban on selling petrol and diesel vehicles certainly has drivers divided. 

'We expect many are still unconvinced about going electric because it sounds like it’s such a long way off. But it could come around much sooner as major manufacturers start to commit to electric as early as 2019.

'Drivers could be missing a trick by not switching to new fuel types. Diesel and petrol prices are continuing to show an upward curve, impacted in the short term by events such as Storm Harvey and the rising cost in the price per barrel.

'Unfortunately motorists will see this reflected in the extra pounds they will need to fork out to fill up their tanks."


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