As part of initiatives for a greener future, Boris Johnson announced in November last year that the UK would plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
While the government’s ten-point plan promises a “green industrial revolution“, it is still unclear what impact this will have on the motor trade industry.
In truth, it is difficult to tell so early on – especially since the UK has never experienced such a major change to our motoring way of life.
We’ll take a look at the rising number of electric cars on the road in the coming decade and what this could mean for vehicle demand, as well as the effect this could have when it comes to the manufacturing sector of the motor trade industry.
A RISING DEMAND FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
As many of you are already aware, the number of electric vehicles in the UK is on the rise. While this is good news for those wanting to reduce national emissions, it will bring about some major changes to the demand for vehicles in the coming years.
According to a poll conducted by the AA, it has been predicted that by 2030, electric vehicles will outnumber petrol and diesel cars – with zero-emission vehicles set to make up 20% of the total number. If the current number of cars in the UK remains at around 33 million, this means that the number of electric cars on the road will rise from 91,000 to around 6.5 million.
As a result, those in the motor trade industry will experience a significant increase in demand for both new and second-hand electric vehicles, while the demand for petrol and diesel cars is set to reduce.
MANUFACTURING AND PARTS
As the number of electric vehicles on the road increase, another major change will be seen within the manufacturing sector of the motor trade industry. As many of you know, electric cars feature different components than the parts currently used for petrol or diesel vehicles. This means we could see a huge change caused by the rising demand for electric vehicle parts, while parts for petrol and diesel cars may become redundant. For electric vehicles in particular, there may be a heavy focus on batteries and panels to keep up with the demand for repairs and maintenance.
Another factor to think about is the difference between engines. As has always been the norm, petrol and diesel engines require regular (and sometimes labour-intensive) maintenance to run smoothly. However, the engines used in electric vehicles usually require far less work as they have fewer components, meaning they’re also a lot easier to put together.
There are positive and negative aspects to the build of electric vehicles. On one hand, those working in garages may find it far quicker to repair or assemble vehicles which have fewer parts.
On the other hand, however, there has been speculation that this could have a downside for employment as it may reduce the need for human labour. In light of this, it has been predicted that some motor trade companies may start to diversify their current operations to stay in touch with the evolving market.
At the moment, the changes to the motor trade industry are still difficult to pin down with absolute certainty. The most obvious and probable outcome for the new regulations is that there will be a simultaneous rise in electric vehicles and a fall in petrol and diesel.
This means it’s likely that we will see an increase in the demand for new and second-hand electric vehicles, as well as the components that go alongside them – whilst the demand for petrol and diesel cars and their parts are likely to decrease the closer we get to 2030.
One thing that we can be certain of is that the goal of having so many electric vehicles on the road by 2030 will be a huge challenge, and one which, if it goes ahead as planned, will change the structure of the motor trade industry.