As the world grapples to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions, electric cars have come into the centre of focus. In fact, electric vehicle sales are soaring, and with over 850,000 pure electric cars and a further 530,00 plug-in hybrids in the UK in August 2023, it’s fair to say the switch to electric is well underway in the United Kingdom.
But with a large segment of UK car owners still possessing petrol and diesel vehicles, and with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushing back the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, one question remains: when will all cars be electric in the UK?
In short, while the EV industry is already blooming, it’s likely that most car owners will convert to electric from 2035 and onwards when the delayed UK government ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles comes into play. That being said, a variety of aspects will factor into when all cars will be electric in the UK.
In this blog, we will explore the likely timeline of EV adoption, including the diesel and petrol ban, the current state of the EV market, and opportunities associated with the electrification of the UK’s automotive industry in this blog.
Originally, the ban on petrol and diesel cars and vans was due to come into effect in the UK in 2030. With this ban, all newly registered cars in the UK will need to be electric or zero-emission vehicles – petrol and diesel alternatives will no longer be for sale. However, recent developments have meant that this ban has been delayed until 2035.
Even with the delay, the ban signals a milestone in the transition to a fully electric future, and with the UK ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, it’s likely we will see a drastic increase in the number of EVs sold from 2035 onwards, claiming a large segment of the market share in the car industry. Especially when this is supported by large car manufacturers such as Nissan, who has pledged to go fully electric by 2030.
However, the timeline for achieving a fully electric vehicle fleet in the UK will depend on several factors and scenarios: technological advancements, infrastructure development, consumer adoption rates, and any further potential delays.
It’s unlikely that all cars will be electric by 2030 or 2035 – but the transition will be well underway, with the number of electric cars likely well into the millions. Of course, it’s important to note that banning the sale does not mean that all existing petrol and diesel cars will suddenly disappear from the roads. The focus is on new petrol cars and diesel vehicle sales, so pre-owned/second-hand petrol and diesel cars will still be available on the market.
You can still drive petrol and diesel cars on British soil after 2035 as it’s only a ban on the sale of new ICE vehicles, not on use. But, given that the average lifespan of petrol and diesel cars is 11 years (depending on the model and how well you take care of the vehicle), it’s unlikely petrol and diesel vehicles will be around forever.
With this in mind, the longevity of ICE cars suggests that while new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from UK roads – older petrol cars will likely still be in use in the following decades, potentially pushing into the late 2040s before fizzling out of use.
Certain exceptions do exist; for example, this timeline also doesn’t include historic or classic cars, which while rare, will stay in circulation due to the history and rarity of such vehicles. However, in recent years, many classic cars have been converted to electric. In fact, certain businesses are coming to market that are dedicated to converting classic cars into electric, such as Electrogenic or Retroelectric Cars.
But it’s important to note that the value of petrol and diesel vehicles will be substantially less as time goes on with UK drivers. Although, classic cars are unlikely to be struck by this conversion. It’s likely that petrol and diesel costs, such as maintenance and running costs, may also become more expensive for ICE drivers as the UK aims to phase them out. Additionally, with the introduction and uptake of electric cars, it’s unlikely the infrastructure will stick around forever for ICE vehicles.
Another factor to consider is how the sale of new hydrogen vehicles will also be available to purchase along with battery electric vehicles, so it depends on the buying patterns of the British public as to which prevails in the car industry.
In terms of the original ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, hybrid electric cars were not included – hybrid cars were originally meant to be banned from 2035, regardless of the postponement.
Hybrid cars are perfect for those who don’t want the commitment of a fully electric car, or those with range anxiety could purchase a car that has both an internal combustion engine and an electric engine, but after 2035, only new battery electric vehicles will be for sale.
Transport is one of the biggest polluting sectors, with petrol and diesel vehicles being significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles release carbon dioxide and other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), into the atmosphere, which have detrimental effects on air quality and human health.
Air pollution, in general, poses a significant public health risk, especially when taking into consideration urban cities where pollution levels are soaring.
To tackle this risk, the UK government set the target of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050. Initiatives such as Clean Air Zones and the Ultra Low Emission Zone have already been introduced in the hopes of decreasing these toxic pollutants. But, given the significance that petrol and diesel vehicles play in terms of air pollution, the UK government brought in the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 – now 2035 -encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.
Battery electric cars have no internal combustion engine, therefore making them zero emission at the tailpipe. Given that electric vehicles have no internal combustion engines, making EVs zero emission at the tailpipe, battery electric vehicles are a perfect alternative to ICE vehicles. The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 – now 2035 – is, therefore, a strategic move to help meet the UK’s goal of becoming net zero by 2050.
Fears surrounding a lack of EV charging infrastructure across the UK are often the biggest concern when asked if the UK is ready for electric and hybrid cars, adding to the barriers to EV adoption. But in our opinion, yes, the UK is ready for the surge in electric cars – and capability will only increase with time as EV infrastructure continues to develop and spread across the UK.
In fact, the number of electric car charging points in the UK is soaring on a month-by-month basis – 45,737 at the end of July– and this figure will only continue to grow. Public charging infrastructure, especially, is improving rapidly – in addition to the emergence of new EV charging solutions such as the ChargeArm for those without off-street parking.
Grumbles in relation to the potential strain on the grid also have emerged when asking the question – is the UK ready for electric cars due to the increased electricity capacity? However, there is no need to worry – certain regulations, such as the Smart EV Charging Regulations, ensure the UK grid will be adept at handling the surge in electricity that will come when UK drivers move over to electric vehicles. In fact, the National Grid has stated that the grid can cope with the increased demand easily.
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This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.
This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.
Spread over a 60 month period.
Tenants and homeowners are eligible for finance.
You decide the amount of months.
Minimum of £1000.
We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 13.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.
Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.
We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.
We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.
Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.
Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.
A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation.
What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.
If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.