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How will the Petrol and Diesel car ban affect EV charging infrastructure?

In phase one, by 2030, all new petrol and diesel car sales will be outlawed. And in phase two, all new cars and vans will be zero-emission at the exhaust by 2035. Let us first define the ban and how it will affect the general public.

Why are fossil-fuel vehicles being phased out after 2030?

Standard petrol and diesel vehicles use combustion engines, emitting harmful environmental emissions. To address the significant causes of climate change, emissions must decrease and reach zero (known as net-zero) by 2050.

The government signed a legally binding agreement to achieve the net-zero goal. This means there is no time to waste, and moving the diesel and petrol bans closer by a decade may help the UK achieve its goal sooner.

The ban is part of the government’s ten-point plan to reduce our contribution to climate change.

Will the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles be prohibited?

The 2030 ban applies to new cars and vans that are entirely powered by petrol or diesel. It does not apply to used or hybrid vehicles with “significant zero-emissions capability,” such as plug-in hybrids and full hybrids.

What happens to existing petrol and diesel vehicles after 2030?

Although electric vehicles (EVs) will eventually replace fossil-fuelled transportation, this will take time. The 2030 ban prohibits the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles. Still, people who already own a fossil-fueled car may continue to drive it on public roads.

Will I be able to purchase petrol or diesel after 2030?

You will, indeed. There are currently no plans to stop selling petrol or diesel in 2030. However, the price of liquid fossil fuels may rise, making driving an electric car much more inexpensive than the equivalent fossil-fueled car.

How does the ban on fossil-fuel vehicles affect hybrid vehicles?

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle, also known as an HEV or a self-charging hybrid, is the most common hybrid car. A PHEV, or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, is another type. Both types of hybrid vehicles will be exempt from the 2030 ban; however, beginning in 2035, they will face a similar ban on selling any new hybrid cars.

Will there be enough charging stations by 2030?

When it comes to EVs, there have always been concerns about the UK’s infrastructure, particularly access to charging stations.

However, infrastructure is gaining traction, with £1.3 billion invested in EV charging points. They now appear in public places across the UK, from shopping centres and service stations to supermarket car parks.

Charging your vehicle at home can also be extremely convenient because you don’t have to go anywhere. A growing number of houses are being built with a built-in charging stations.

The move to electric vehicles

These plans are intended to encourage automakers to produce more electric vehicles. Many manufacturers have been offering all-electric vehicles for several years.

Volvo, for example, intends to have 50% of its sales be all-electric by 2025. Jaguar has confirmed that it will go all-electric beginning in 2025, and many other brands are going all-electric.

Many things must change between now and then, such as the number of public electric charging stations and their availability to motorists. The UK government is investing millions of pounds in charging infrastructure, but it will take time.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act of 2018 was introduced to give the government the authority to require petrol stations, highway service areas, and other locations to install accessible charging points, which is gradually happening.

According to Zap-Map, there are 35860 charging points in the UK at the end of September 2022. This number will continue to grow between now and the ban’s implementation. It is estimated that the public will require at least 25 million charging points to meet future demand by 2050. The infrastructure problem is more than just a matter of numbers; in comparison, there are 8,378 standard fuel stations.

The problem is that the role out needs to be faster. If the estimate is correct, we will need nearly 1 million charging points installed annually for the next 27 years. The current estimate of how many charging points, including household and community systems, is 400,000 despite OZEV Grants of up to £350 being available.

Now compare that to the long-term challenge of there currently being 530,000 battery-electric cars on UK roads, plus a further 405,000 plug-in hybrids compared to the total number of licensed vehicles in the UK of 32.7 million.

It is simply not feasible in high-density residential areas for every house to have wires dangling from their electricity supply to their car. According to National Grid, with 20 million EVs on the road, at least 8.6 million will be unable to charge at home.

The result of this is public charging stations will be required. Petrol and service station owners have already installed several charging stations, and some more creative solutions have been proposed. For example, using lampposts with extra capacity due to the switch to LED bulbs or repurposing other street furniture such as Virgin Media’s street cabinets. Even though this is imaginative, it can only be part of the solution to the challenge.

Consider convenience first.

Until now, the fundamental issue has been one of technology. A standard combustion engine takes about five minutes to recharge with petrol or diesel fully. It’s simple, convenient, and allows for both short and long-distance travel.

It can take up to eight hours to recharge an EV battery to 100% capacity using the current charging methods. Even a minor charge can take between one and two hours to complete. Early adopters get around this by charging their cars overnight in their driveway. However, it makes widespread adoption unlikely, with 45% of respondents to a Department of Transport survey citing a lack of chargers as a reason for not purchasing an EV.

Lightning speed.

The solution lies in implementing ultra-fast charging capabilities and overcoming copper and, most importantly, cooling issues.

Conducting the high currents involved necessitates using thick, inflexible copper pipes. The diameter of which alone makes them prohibitively expensive and unwieldy. This makes them unsuitable for charging multiple vehicles in public spaces.

High currents also generate excessive heat, making them unsuitable for car drivers who need to charge their vehicles. One of the main reasons that EV infrastructure has continuously operated on a low-current basis is the heat problem and the lack of suitable cooling technologies: air cooling, plate cooling, and pipe cooling are all popular, but there are better possible solutions for ultra-fast charging.

We need to go back to the early days of EVs to find a better solution. Immersion cooling was an early leader in electric vehicles and charging points. However, the composition was never quite right. The proposed fluid was too heavy, adding weight to early cars that needed to be as light as possible to be as efficient as possible and thus encourage take-up.

The Last word.

Whether you trust the new EV technology and infrastructure, it is coming and is here to stay. There is a sincere desire from the government and industry to make this work, and if both are pulling in the same direction, it will become the new normal to drive an EV.