Difficult one this, but is definitely a subject that needs to be spoken about. We have 10-12 years to get this right and this includes a number of factors:
This does not mean that fossil fuels will be ‘switched off’ in 12-15 years time, it is just that new ICE vehicles cannot be sold, so if the ban comes into force at the start of 2035 then the ICE vehicles sold in 2034 will still be in use for another 12-15 years.
ICE vehicles and the fuel, will be taxed VERY heavily to drive them out of use as quickly as possible.
Road charging and road tolls will become much more commonplace to back-fill the loss of revenue from fossil fuels
Used vehicle supply - the Nissan Leaf has been around for 8 years now, useable ones are available at sensible money for those that cannot afford a brand new vehicle. There is a massive influx of new ‘zero emission’ vehicles coming onto the market over the next 24 months, so as we move towards 2030 a significant number of used vehicles will be available giving lots of choice at all price points and keeping those on low wages mobile.
Electric vehicles WILL NOT be the only solution, hydrogen powered vehicles will also be available - the problem here is the infrastructure to refuel these vehicles. Traditional ‘oil’ companies can lead the way here by back-filling the reduction of fossil fuel sales by producing hydrogen ‘on-site’; and dispensing it at source. I believe that hydrogen will become the choice of many heavy vehicles and long distance travellers with electric being the choice for lower mileage users.
Look at how you use your vehicles, do you drive more than 50 miles per day? Many do not! The vast majority of new electric vehicles have 180-280 miles of range, so do they need to be re-charged every night?
A lot of very intelligent people are researching the power supply system and providing, or suggesting alternative solutions. One example is vehicle to grid. You arrive home in our electric vehicle and have around 30% range left, you plug into your smart home charger, and the grid
can take a small amount of power out of your vehicle at peak demand time (1KWh is about 4-5 miles of range) and pay you for that energy. Overnight your electric car is then recharged using clean, renewable energy and it is ready to go the following morning.
One of the best bits of advice I saw recently came from an electrical engineer to school leavers - his advice was to train as an electrical engineer as this will be an industry that is currently growing and will expand massively in the next few years as they pivot towards the new future. They have 10 years to get it right!
Don’t forget, this is not just the automotive industry, but commercial heating, domestic hot water, heating and more will all be forced to move towards a zero emission future, so this demands a fundamental rethink of how we use power, where it comes from, and how to reduce CO2 emissions
Vehicle recycling will remain an integral part of the automotive industry, it will evolve and change, develop and grow as the vehicles change and the value base gradually alters from fossil fuel vehicles towards zero emission. How we deal with high voltage batteries in 2030 will be very different to how we deal with those components today!