Electric Cars

What happens in 2030/2035

2030 is a date you see often quoted when it comes to electric cars along with the claim that when we get to 2030, all new cars will have to be electric.

Except that, unfortunately, it’s wrong. Despite what you might have read, when your watch reads 00.01am on 1st January 2030, it’s not the case that any car with an internal-combustion engine will disappear from car showrooms. So, what are the true facts behind the Government legislation and what are the hard-and-fast dates for the future electric and hybrid cars?

Let’s start with that oft-quoted 2030 date. What is true is that sales of new cars and vans that are only powered by an internal combustion engine won’t be allowed from 2030 onwards. However, plug-in hybrids will be allowed to continue to be sold is they have the capability to drive a “significant distance” with zero-emissions ie on electric power alone.

Unfortunately, the Government and Department for Transport has yet to confirm exactly what that “significant distance” actually is and will define that in due course. However, given that the latest generation of plug-in hybrids can manage at least 30 miles or more in EV mode, it’s hard to imagine it being much less than 25 miles, but it will have to cover smaller plug-in hybrids with less battery space.

The ruling does mean that mild-hybrids (those that can’t be plugged-in) will no longer be sold but those with range-extenders like the Mazda MX-30 and the latest Nissan Qashqai e-power should be ok.

That’s 2030 and the next fixed date in place after that is 2035. This is a much easier one to understand as from 2035 onwards car manufacturers will only be able to purely electric vehicles from new from then on.

So what happens between now and those 2030 and 2035 dates, both for car manufacturers and for car buyers? What definitely isn’t going to happen is that they won’t be frantically registering traditional cars with internal combustion engines in the run ups to those respective dates.

In fact, quite the opposite. Given the costs in developing new cars, the reality is that more and more manufacturers will naturally grow their electric models before then – Citroen is already offering its Berlingo in electric-only form, with Vauxhall and Peugeot announcing they will have fully electric ranges by 2028. Every new Ford will also be electric by 2030. So many manufacturers are already planning to be ahead of that fully electric 2035 legislation by some margin.

Don’t think that petrol and diesel filling stations are suddenly going to disappear overnight though. While demand will obviously slowly drift towards EV charging stations, with the average lifespan of a new car in the UK being just over 13 years, there will be plenty of internal-combustion engined cars and vans on the roads for some time after 2030 and 2035. Just not necessarily any new ones.

Interested in finding out more?