Most people will have noticed the very considerable drop in car use since the start of the current national crisis. Thankfully, the majority of folk have accepted the rules set upon them and are acting responsibly. One benefit of this will be apparent to those individuals taking their daily walk and especially residents in urban and suburban areas: The air is much clearer. According to experts, by May, when CO² emissions are at their peak, the levels recorded might be the lowest for many years, partly at least because of the drop in vehicles on the roads. The result? Seemingly, bees and butterflies are extra active, almost as if nature rather likes the changes. Yet our lives and industries have to go on, but will, in the longer term, the motoring future be changed?
The Car Industry
Car showrooms are shut and there is new flexibility when it comes to the MOT test. Cars can still be ordered online and brochures delivered to doors but, although the vehicle manufacturing sector remained steady in February 2020, it is inevitable that production will drastically decline.
Nevertheless, car makers are adapting to the new circumstances, aided by Government intervention. The good news is that the Chancellor has announced the continuation of the plug-in car grant until 2022/3. This has been so important in driving the sales of hybrids and electric cars and for the suppliers who offer the latest EV charging cables and home charging units. It is true that for some prestige vehicles the grant has been reduced but at least the incentive to buy into this new automotive technology is still there.
For the car industry the long-term objective, for private and business users at least, that should come out of this national emergency is to make zero emission motoring a more viable option for drivers. Given the drop in emissions the country is currently experiencing, it is essential to further encourage adoption of electric technology if we are to meet extremely challenging environmental aims.
More Good EV News
The removal of the premium car surcharge on vehicle excise duty and reduction in company car tax for zero emission vehicles, as well as a vital and absolutely necessary review of our national charging infrastructure requirements, should help encourage consumers and support the beginnings of a market transition to electric vehicles.
We will have to wait and see what the promised ‘green’ budget brings in the Autumn, assuming we have emerged from the other end of this nasty, tragic business, but a reduction in road tax for EVs and the tax on electric car accessories like home charging stations would be a great start. Let’s hope the Government listens.
In the meantime, our stay-at-home lifestyle at least allows for a bit of forward planning. We might not be even considering changing our cars now but the obvious fact that the air that we breathe is already and so quickly cleaner could mean it is genuinely time to consider buying into electric vehicle technology.
Why not? The grant still exists to aid purchase, especially for mainstream motors, and there is an increasing amount of great used EVs available on the market as converts begin to trade up. Any concerns about battery longevity can be dismissed. It has been clearly shown that battery packs in properly maintained vehicles are lasting beyond 100,000 miles without any significant drop-off in power retention.
The latest in electric vehicle charging cables and home charging stations can be purchased online, so for most domestic users at least our driving future could look cleaner and greener.