A new study says that if the U.K. invests in electric vehicle infrastructure and supports its electric vehicle market, oil imports could be cut by 40% by 2030. Yes, by 2030 – just 15 years from now. If the U.K. does provide such support, the average fossil fuel motorist that switches to an EV might also save about $1,500 in annual fuel costs. The reduction in air pollutants emitted by gas-powered vehicles could decrease human health problems like respiratory illness. Such a public health improvement was calculated to be worth one billion pounds of value. Additionally, a 47% reduction in vehicle carbon emissions might result.
So you might say that’s a lot “ifs” and “coulds,” but research reports like the one produced for the Foundation by Cambridge Econometrics, and commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, are not rock-solid predictions; they are based on data analysis and estimates. The point is to help us envision a future that is both healthier for us and the planet, not to promise anything. The road, so to speak, to this better future is not extremely clear, and the journey will most likely include some rough patches, delays and confusion, but better results are possible.
Specifically, the infrastructure that is need is more EV charging stations, so vehicles can be recharged wherever and whenever they need to be. Government policies and incentives can only go so far: consumers will have to come on board as well, but that doesn’t seem to be a barrier. As we saw in July, almost 40% of UK luxury car owners surveyed said that had some interest in electric vehicles.
That research was conducted and reported on before news came about the possibility of 200 mile-per-charge electric cars coming out sooner than anyone expected. The luxury car owners in the UK indicated that they would be more open to an EV with a 300 mile range, but once more affordable EVS with 200 are available, such as offerings from Chevy and possibly Nissan, they might be persuaded. In other words, the shift from fossil fuel vehicles to electric ones might happen a little faster than we may think it will.
For example, the Tesla Model S is generally regarded very enthusiastically by its owners, and they might not ever want to go back to a gas-powered car. If Tesla can produce its smaller commuter vehicle, then mass adoption of EVS might become even more likely.
Image Credit: Duncan from Nottingham, UK, Wiki Commons