In 2018, in response to growing calls to reduce roadside emissions, the UK Government published its Road to Zero strategy. Not only was that strategy about reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also set out a plan to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions from vehicles – with a view to achieving zero tailpipe emissions.
A year later, the UK Government became the first to enshrine in law a date for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions targets – 2050.
Then, in November 2020, the UK Government brought forward several key dates for its vehicle emissions strategies. This included a decision to “end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. The significance of this is that all vehicles are required to have a significant zero emissions capability (e.g. plug-in and full hybrids) from 2030 and be 100 per cent zero emissions from 2035.” Similar targets are in play across the European Union.
The net result of this and other environmental, economic, and social factors, is the rapid shift of focus of Vehicle Manufacturers (VMs) away from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) development and towards hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
Adoption of EVs
By 2025, we expect Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) to account for 50 per cent of new vehicle sales, with 76 per cent of the car parc made up from BEVs by 2050. Indeed, major manufacturers such as Ford and Jaguar Land Rover have already signposted a swift end to ICE vehicle production.
While these systems have been a feature of one or two models within a Vehicle Manufacturers range, today, most new models or facelifts now offer a Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) variant, even at lower price points.
Range and infrastructure have improved dramatically in the last few years and will continue to do so at pace. As demand for Electric Vehicles grows, production volumes will increase and drive costs down. The cost of Lithium-ion batteries used in EVs is also falling, however they will remain more expensive than a conventional petrol or diesel fuel system for some considerable time.
The rapid uptake of governmental strategies by car makers will radically reshape the mix of vehicles on our roads. Every part of infrastructure, supply chain, servicing, repair and insurance is already being affected.