Here’s what the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban means

The Government has brought forward its plan to outlaw the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans. The new date is 2030 – it was previously 2035. But note that plug-in hybrids will be allowed until 2035.

We looked at the 2035 plan back in February. We concluded the plan was probably unneccessary because few people would actually want an ICE car by 2035 anyway.

Since then there’s been a pandemic to take everybody’s eye off the ball and hamper installation of charging points. Yet even so the case for electric-car adoption has moved forward at pace.

People are buying EVs voluntarily. Sales of full EVs and of PHEVs each tripled in October 2020 versus the same month in 2019. Combined, they’re now one in seven of all the new cars sold, very similar numbers to diesel. For some brands it’s higher – a quarter of October’s Mercedes sales were EV or PHEV.

The number of charging points is also going up fast. Networks ubitricity and Charge are putting points into lamp-posts – thousands of them already. These as well as more conventional street-side public boxes are great for overnight or daytime charging for people who are at work, or who don’t have a charge point at home.

Remember, if you drive 8,000 miles a year and your EV does 200 miles between charges, that’s 10 hours of AC charging on average only once every nine days. So one lamp-post can serve several cars.

Just in the first 10 months of this year, the network of these points has grown by 18 percent. See zap-map.com/statistics for more. The detail is persuasive.

For charging on long journeys, the number of rapid points – the EV driver’s equivalent of a petrol station – has also grown. It’s up by more than a quarter, again in just 10 months.

Much of the growth in the charging system has happened on oil-company investment: BP has Polar, Shell has Recharge, Total bought Source London. They see which way the wind is blowing (figuratively).