Warning: We are aware fraudsters are using the Loans 2 Go brand, along with others to target individuals via email and telephone calls. Loans 2 Go will never ask for an upfront payment to secure the loan. Please contact us if you believe you have been targeted. For more info click here.
electric cars UK

So what’s the latest news on electric cars?

A couple of years or so ago, it seemed like there was a lot of talk about electric cars. Deadlines for replacing your petrol or diesel car with an electric one, the growing range but short supply of electric cars, all different manner of hybrid cars, the possibility of getting financial aid for electric charging points, and various other aspects of the whole electric car world.

But it all somehow seems a little quieter on the electric car front at the moment. So in this article we help you to catch up with all the latest developments on electric cars. We’ll take a quick look at:

  • The current deadlines for electric cars;
  • The latest statistics on electric cars;
  • The advantages of electric cars;
  • The disadvantages of electric cars.

 

The current deadlines for electric cars

The original government deadlines for switching over to electric cars in the UK were that sales of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned from 2030 and sales of hybrid cars stopped from 2035.

However, in September 2023, this was revised. Sales of new petrol and diesel cars are now being banned by 2035 instead of 2030. However, by 2030, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in the UK need to be zero emission.. 

2035 still remains the deadline for the stopping of all hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged that the high costs and a lack of nationwide charging infrastructure for electric cars were both significant reasons behind the delay. We will look at these in more detail later in this article.

However, the extended deadline will hopefully also give a bit of breathing space to UK car manufacturers. They face a huge challenge keeping up with the level of global investment in electric car production. Around 780,000 people are currently employed in UK car manufacturing and it contributes an estimated £14 billion a year to the economy. However, all this could be under threat with the switch to electric cars. 

One of the major issues in manufacturing electric cars is battery production. The Faraday Institution, a battery science research group, states that the UK is going to need at least five battery production plants – known as gigafactories – by 2030 to meet demand. However, the UK currently only has one – Nissan in Sunderland – with one other planned by Jaguar Land Rover in Somerset. For comparison, China has 100 gigafactories, and around 50 gigafactories are being planned within the EU.

So, how are the sales of electric cars currently looking in the UK?

 

The latest statistics on electric cars

There are currently four different types of electric car available in the UK:

  • BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle

This is a fully electric car, powered solely by an electric battery. It has no fuel engine at all.

 

  • HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle

An HEV is otherwise known as a full hybrid. It is powered by a combination of fuel engine and electric motor. The fuel engine charges the electric battery as the car is driven. The battery provides extra power to the engine, and can also enable the car to run in electric-only mode for short distances.

 

  • PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle 

A plug-in hybrid is similar to a full hybrid, but can also be plugged in to charge its batteries. It is designed to run electrically until the battery power runs out, after which the fuel engine takes over. It is able to operate in electric-only mode over a much larger range than a full hybrid.

 

  • MHEV – Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle

A mild hybrid car uses the fuel engine and electric motor at the same time to drive the car. But the electric motor cannot operate independently so a mild hybrid is not able to run in electric-only mode. The purpose of the electric motor is solely to increase the efficiency and economy of the fuel engine.

The three most popular electric cars purchased in the UK at the end of 2023 were Ford Puma, Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Corsa. However, during 2023, there was a slight stalling in the overall sales of electric cars. Although the actual number of EVs sold rose by 18% from 2022 to a record 315,000 cars, the percentage of electric cars as compared to overall new car sales in the UK is 16.5% – slightly down from 2022. 

Would you buy an electric car? Let’s now take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars. 

 

The advantages of electric cars

  • Electric cars are clean and are a significant factor in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Electric cars are quiet, and enjoyable to drive.
  • Electric cars do not have a clutch so many people find them easier to drive. Not having a clutch also means that they are able to be driven by drivers with an automatic-only licence.
  • Electric cars are cheaper to run because there are no fuel costs to pay. If you have a home charger, you can expect to pay between £5-10 for a full charge, which could then give you up to 100-300 miles range – all dependent on the make of your car and the size of its battery,
  • You do not have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) on an electric car.
  • Electric cars can often be cheaper to service, as there are fewer mechanical parts to go wrong. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this to be aware of. Brakes on electric cars can wear out more quickly than petrol or diesel cars, and some electric cars also have bespoke tyres. Both these components can be expensive to replace. 

 

The disadvantages of electric cars

  • Electric cars are expensive to buy. Most electric cars are currently more expensive than petrol or diesel cars. One of the main reasons for this is that the minerals needed for EV batteries – such as lithium, nickel, cobalt – are currently in short supply. And, whilst cheaper electric cars are being developed globally – such as the Seagull produced by the Chinese company BYD – there is currently no availability in the UK.
  • Electric cars are perceived by many to be unreliable, with various different horror stories circulating about people being stranded when their car runs out of battery. Whilst the range of electric cars is constantly improving, there are still concerns about how and where to charge the batteries. This means that for a longer journey you need to plan ahead to ensure that there will be charging points for you to top up your battery throughout the journey, and allow time to do this.
  • Similarly, even for day to day use, an electric car needs charging more regularly than you would need to fill up with fuel, so this needs to be built into your regular routine. If there is no charging point at home, you need to work out which public charging point(s) you are going to use, and these can be expensive. 
  • There is an overall shortage of chargers. Whilst around 65% of electric car owners have off-street parking and can install their own charger, 35% do not. This figure rises to 55% in London. To cater for more electric cars, there is a need for more public chargers, in particular rapid chargers, which can charge a car from 0% to 80% in about 30 minutes. 

 

There are currently around 45,000 public charging points across the UK, with just under 20% of these being rapid chargers. The government has a target to provide 300,000 public charging points by 2030, although the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimates that 2.3 million would in fact be needed to meet demand.

 

We hope this article has given you an overview of the latest developments on electric cars in the UK, and will help you make the best decision as to when to change over to electric.

And if you are planning to change your car, or need to make improvements to your current car, remember that Loans 2 Go offers online loans that may be able to help. 

Do visit us here again soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Loans 2 Go.