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Richard Hammond has predicted that the majority of cars will be internal combustion engine in 2050

By Jodie Chay Oneill | April 15, 2024

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With no big motoring show on TV right now, this 54-year-old is thinking we could really use a program that educates viewers about self-driving and electric cars.

Richard Hammond has predicted that the majority of cars will be internal combustion engine in 2050

Richard Hammond has predicted that the majority of cars will be petrol by 2050, even with big plans to increase electric car sales in the next few years.

In a recent interview, he shared his views on what the future holds for cars. He believes that even with the government planning to stop selling new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to reduce emissions, petrol cars will still dominate the roads in 25 years.

The Government initially aimed to ban these cars by 2030, but they pushed it to 2035 last year. This change came after Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, scaled back some environmental promises.

In a speech, The Prime Minister praised the growth of electric cars, noting that a new electric vehicle is registered every minute. But he also mentioned concerns about the high cost, lack of charging stations, and challenges for businesses.

Richard Hammond has spoken out about the car ban and what kind of vehicles people will be driving in the next decades. He explained: "EVs will be part of the picture, of course they are.

"But at the current rate of electrification, even if we could keep it up – which we can’t because China is withholding the rare earth minerals we need – by 2050 the majority of cars on the road will still be, and have to be, internal combustion engines.

"So we have to solve that, and synthetic fuels will be the way,” he told The Telegraph.

Chinese manufacturers are making headway in the UK and across established markets in Europe and North America with cheaper upfront costs and impressive battery ranges.

Similarly, there have been a number of calls for major vehicle brands to launch research into synthetic fuels to ensure petrol and diesel drivers can cut their emissions if they do not want to switch to an EV yet.

Hammond continued, saying: “The biggest financial decision we make as individuals, with a bearing on the carbon future, is the car.

“And people might end up buying electric cars that simply don’t work in their application, or not buying one when they’d be perfect. But we’re not properly informed.”

“There is a need now for a show which goes, ‘Look, you need to get about, how you do that is an important decision, so here’s the stuff you need to know.’ Somebody should be doing that.”

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