Zero-emission vehicles to get the green light

If predictions are correct, there will be a revolution in the motoring industry in the coming years, as tens of thousands of zero emission electric vehicles are prepared to hit the roads of the United Kingdom.

It has been predicted that slowly over time, the days when a motorist only required a bare slab of tarmac or concrete to park up are ending. In the not too distant future there will be an increasing numbers of drivers who will be demanding curbsides equipped with glowing posts which are capable of recharging a plug-in EV (electric Vehicle).

At the moment electric vehicles account for only a few thousand of the 28.5m cars on the roads, however, both industry and the Coalition Government are taking huge steps to clean up the environment and also boost the UK’s economy. Estimates have been made that we will see tens of thousands of new zero emission vehicles on the roads within the next few years. This year is set to be the biggest year yet for the motor industry as six new EVs are being launched in the UK, and another three hitting the showrooms next year. Insurance firms are expecting a surge in drivers getting a motor insurance quote for an EV.

Inevitably, barriers are still there regarding the adoption of an EV; not least the fact that expensive battery technology means the Leaf and its rivals will set a driver back between £28,000 and £35,000 which is a third more than similar conventional combustion engine vehicle.

Andy Heiron, head of the EV programme at Renault UK, says “Appealing to people’s pockets will be key. There are some people who will buy and run electric vehicles to make a statement, but for the mass market, they have to make financial sense. That’s why we’ve stuck our neck on the block by going for battery lease, i.e. buyers of Renault’s electric cars will pay a monthly rental fee for the battery, which will mean we are on a level with equivalent diesel cars on upfront cost.”

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