Switching massively to electric cars could save UK drivers up to £1,000 a year on fuel costs, reducing oil imports by almost half by 2030; a similar trend could be replicated in other countries in Western Europe or in the US.
Electric car drivers will save, on average, a thousand pounds per year ($1500), sparking a 47% reduction in total carbon emissions in the UK, said the Cambridge Econometrics study. The paper, which was commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, said that the more we use electric cars instead of conventional cars, the less we will see air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulates.
If 6 million UK residents go electric, this would indirectly cause health benefits from reduced respiratory diseases valued at over £1bn. The UK’s GDP would profit from from reduced oil costs and increased vehicle spending could amount to between £2.4-£5bn by 2030, the study says. Between 7,000-19,000 jobs would also be created. But adding 6 million electric cars to the grid is no trivial feat, and would require massive infrastructure investments.
“There will be a transition in the next five-10 years but you won’t see a sudden shift to electric vehicles until consumers have got over their ‘range anxiety’ concerns and that will only happen with infrastructure spending,” said Philip Summerton , one of the report’s authors.
Two years ago the European Commission proposed a €10bn (£7bn) public works programme, which would have dramatically increased the number of recharging stations across Europe, but the UK government somehow managed to reject the project, because of the costs involved in ensuring that a minimum 10% of recharging stations were publicly accessible in every country. Despite this, more and more recharging stations were built across the continent.
“It can no longer come as a surprise to anyone that reducing emissions delivers commercial benefits to industry as well as benefits to the environment and consumers,” said Darren Lindsey, a spokesman for the tyre-maker, Michelin. “To maximise those benefits, however, international policymakers have to create a consistent and robust regulatory framework.”
These changes could also ride a wave of mentality change that’s sweeping many parts of Europe.
“Our research shows that drivers’ attitudes are changing when it comes to choice of car. Drivers want fuel efficient cars that are also reliable, safe, comfortable and easy to service. However there is still a massive leap of faith to be made before drivers fully embrace full zero emission vehicles,” said Edmund king, the AA president.
What do you think? Are electric cars the future, or is the necessary infrastructure simply to difficult to implement at the moment? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!
Tou can read the entire report here.