Elec­tric cars will present chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties


THE Gov­ern­ment’s an­nounce­ment in re­la­tion to only elec­tric pow­ered ve­hi­cles be­ing sold af­ter 2040 is go­ing to cause many Mid­land com­pa­nies cur­rently sup­port­ing au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers to have a bit of a re­think. Many will find that, af­ter more than 100 years, de­mand for the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine will cease.

How­ever, this leg­is­la­tion will cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties else­where.

For in­stance, house­builders will pre­sum­ably from now on be mak­ing pro­vi­sion for charg­ing points to be part of the list of ex­tras on of­fer to pur­chasers.

These have to be de­vel­oped, of­fi­cial de­sign ap­proval ob­tained, man­u­fac­tured and mar­keted.

Cur­rently there are gov­ern­ment grants avail­able for elec­tric ve­hi­cle home charg­ing schemes, with up to 75 per cent on of­fer to­wards in­stal­la­tion.

The move to elec­tri­cal pow­ered ve­hi­cles by de­cree is go­ing to present a lot of prob­lems to the mo­torist in the years ahead, for there will come a time when the car pur­chased will only have scrap value circa 2040. The more ex­pen­sive the ve­hi­cle, the greater the loss.

I pre­sume that man­u­fac­tur­ers of larger petrol/diesel pow­ered ve­hi­cles will suf­fer from 2030 on­wards as in­vestors opt for smaller cheaper cars, or switch early to elec­tric-pow­ered ve­hi­cles.

Then there is the ques­tion as to how Gov­ern­ment will cope with the loss of tax rev­enue cur­rently ac­cru­ing on pump sales.

One sug­ges­tion is that all ve­hi­cles will be charged for ev­ery mile driven, which would cre­ate a lot of prob­lems in in­for­ma­tion col­lec­tion, let alone the pay­ment of such tax.

One so­lu­tion is to have a spe­cial rate for elec­tric­ity used to power ve­hi­cles, but that could take a lot of policing.

I do have a ma­jor con­cern on safety, namely that e-ve­hi­cles are ex­tremely quiet, so you can­not hear them com­ing, which on twisty coun­try roads, can be fright­en­ing. I have al­ready had one such ex­pe­ri­ence, and this as­pect has to be ad­dressed.

A page in the his­tory of mo­tor­ing is about to be turned, with both ben­e­fits and op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Rus­sell Luck­ock is chair­man of Birm­ing­ham press­ings firm

AE Har­ris

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