Government policy and the health of the economy will play a huge role in the uptake of electric cars, a report from the National Grid shows. Strong environmental policy could see the number of electric cars soar to over 5 million in the next two decades it predicts.
The figures come from the National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios report, which sets out four different visions of the UK’s future. The report found that if the government delivers strong green policies then the UK could meet decarbonisation targets.
In the ‘Gone Green’ scenario, which sees a strong economy and tough environmental regulation, a higher growth rate in electric cars is expected because of increased government intervention. Whilst an increase in disposable incomes also drive the purchase of electric vehicles under the ‘Low Carbon Life’ scenario, which is described as having policymakers that are committed to decarbonisation targets in the long term but volatility in policies in the short term.
Under both these scenarios electric vehicles would be expected to exceed 5 million by 2034/35.
In contrast, the other two scenarios, ‘Slow Progression’ and ‘No Progression’, would experience lower rates of growth because of less disposable income. Even with government incentives this would hamper growth in the market. The National Grid predicts that under these circumstances the number of electric vehicles would remain below 2 million in 20 years time.
Electric and hybrid cars are gradually becoming more popular in the UK. In 2013, sales increased by 17.5%, above the average for the industry.
The increase is likely to be linked to eclectic vehicle charging points becoming more widespread. The government revealed plans to distribute £37 million to local authorities, train operators, NHS trusts and similar organisation to offset the cost of installing charging points on their properties and streets last year.
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