Will We Really See Petrol And Diesel Cars Phased Out By 2040?

4 things which need to happen before the electric switchover in 2040

It’s official: new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040. The government has said so. 

There will be a £3bn package of spending that will tackle air pollution, with £255m of that going on helping councils deal with diesel emissions.

This sounds like our type on paper (Love Island, anyone? No?) but being totally realistic, we have our reservations.

Yes, 2040 sounds like ages away, now. It’s 23 whole years. By 2040 we could all be flying around on hoverboards, digesting social media intravenously and pledging allegiance to the new US president, Justin Bieber. Maybe.

But it’ll be here sooner than you think – and the Government has a heck of a lot to sort out before then if it thinks we’ll all be electric (in a family full of eccentrics).

Here are just some of those things.


Superchargers, as far as the eye can see… 

If we’re all going to be making our journeys in electric cars, we think you’ll agree that nobody will want to be waiting hours at the services for them to charge. No matter how good the Greggs is there.

Current electric car chargers will need to be replaced by superchargers, which can charge your car in a fraction of the time – about as long as it takes to pop in for a packet of crisps. And they’ll need to be in every corner of the UK, in as many places as current fuelling points.

Massive National Grid investment

If we’re talking about charging 40 million vehicles, let’s spare a second for our National Grid. That’s a lot of additional strain on those pylons. With that amount of extra power needed, there needs to be some serious thought about how to generate that electricity – as the current system just isn’t going to be able to cope.

Maybe if we had a million hamsters in a million hamster wheels… 

Investment in businesses

At the moment, some of the biggest polluters are commercial vehicles such as delivery vans, lorries and the like. If business are going to be expected to change their entire fleet over to electric vehicles, we think it’s fair to say the Government should foot the bill. 


With all the above points in mind, the biggest consideration is simply this: will driving an electric car be as convenient as a petrol or diesel one in time for 2040? If there is any element of extra planning that has to go into people’s every day journeys, this just isn’t going to work. 

People aren’t going to get on board with a scheme that leaves them stranded at the shop for an hour when all they went for is loo roll. We’d wager they wouldn’t even be happy altering their routes to ensure that they hit the optimum amount of charging points. Driving basically needs to be the same as it is today – if not more convenient. 

Is that possible? We suppose we’ll find out…

yet another brainless idea from the tory halfwits how long are people going to listen to these bloody morons

Electric cars are clean at the point of use but electricity has to be gererated somewhere, OK solar is clean but we still need power stations. Surly the best way forward is clean up petrol and diesel, just compare a 20 years old Euro 2 to a present day Euro 6 engine, and hybrid vehicles.

Hydrogen power is a better answer, just need to sort out the safety aspect of it, maybe add a capsuled neutralising additive or something that if it us shocked (I.e in an accident) then it mixes with the hydrogen to make it safe, a bit like a fire extinguisher going off inside itself?, Then make it in a heavier unbreakable compressed gas cylinder, still less heavy that a load of batteries anyway, surely its far less of a headache, to think more on this form of power, as we've ignored it for best part of 20 years!

Only a dim assed government ( reacting to the poisoned whisperers) such as this could come up with such a statement. Hmm let see...... why not transfer the pollution from the tail pipe to the Power Station plus overload the national grid at the same time. What a spiffing idea! So, for half of the driving population who's cars are parked outside their house or many doors away from their front door, this is a non starter or a ply to wipe out hundreds of thousand of car owners. I say Biffo lets just make driving only for the rich and let the proles to their own devices, another spiffing idea. Well after 2040 and beyond when stations begin to stop selling liquid fuel, just imagine the extra pollution produced having to drive extra miles out of your way in order to fill up! Also, enough of the diesel bashing. Lets not forget and as I understand it a petrol car from new will match by year three and then rapidly overtake diesel Nitrous oxide emissions. I hope I don't live long enough to see another Tory afterbirth brought into this world.

The announcement smacks of PR and little else. This article is silly and lightweight but the points made are not unsound. In fact under current battery technology we would need far MORE charging points than filling stations as electric cars today need charging much more often that conventional cars need filling up. But then who knows how much energy batteries might be able to store as the technology improves. It already has and will continue to do so. And there may well be big gains in harnessing solar energy. With panels in the roof your car might charge itself. We simply don't know... yet. We are trying to forecast the future here during a technological revolution that is making huge strides forward every year. By 2040 who knows what could be powering our cars, or even if we will have cars at all, as we know them today. Autonomous vehicles are likely to be the norm and they will simply take themselves off to their depots and plug themselves in whenever necessary. Unmanned taxis will be universal and cheap so will many of us even bother to buy a car at all? And just think of the impact that will have. We'll need far fewer car parks, car manufacturing, retailing and servicing industries will change dramatically, car washing and valeting will be done by robots, car rental and taxi companies will have to completely re-model their businesses, and these are only a few of the big changes ahead. Car enthusiasts will become like horse owners today, who do it purely for the pleasure it gives them rather than for any practical reason. The technological revolution is going to make the industrial revolution look tame.

Don't forget they haven't said that petrol and diesel won't be available at the pump after 2040 only that NEW cars and vans will not be exclusively using those fuels. All the millions of old vehicles will still be on the roads at that time. They have however said they aim to get all petrol and diesel vehicles off the road by 2050, but honestly they could say anything they like when talking 30 years in the future. All these great (or not so great) ideas get watered down over time and it's my bet that by 2040 hybrid vehicles will be the norm and that will be accepted as OK. So stopping at the service station would involve lunch and a quick charge up of the batteries, but running low on 'fuel' in a remote part of the country would still need a liquid top up of your cars favourite tipple. Indeed anyone anywhere needing a quick refuel will want to use the old fuels unless electric recharging changes in some dramatic way.

The motorist and his interests are such a valuable cash cow the government simply refuse to make the most sensible decisions to cut pollution, carbon emissions and improve air quality. I think government members must keep repeating the mantra "technology can cure all ills". Belief in this falsehood means the money keeps circulating and that is all that matters. It is convenient for them to ignore the fact that two-thirds of all energy is used inside buildings and a considerable amount of that is squandered by manufacturing fodder to feed consumerism and stuff that would be largely unnecessary if the government undid the harm they caused by failing to manage the population properly. The government is largely responsible for the current situation where every morning a huge proportion of our population go to work, often large distances, using personal transport instead of being able to walk to work or take "cheap as chips" mass transport systems. The manufacture of glass for the car industry uses as much energy as a small town. A new car uses more energy to produce than it will ever use in it's lifetime. From a purely environmental point of view rushing to replace the vehicles we have makes much less sense than a programme of social engineering to remove the need to use many of our current vehicles and slow the manufacture of replacements. It is possible petrol and diesel vehicles will not be produced after 2040 but that doesn't mean rechargeable electric will be the only offering after that even if the super-capacitor has replaced batteries or the hydrogen fuel cell has begun to be mass produced cheaply. The current internal combustion engine is very happy using either hydrogen or methane as a fuel. Considering methane is anything from 16 to 30 times worse than CO2 in the greenhouse gas league table it is of overwhelming importance as much methane or natural gas is turned into CO2 as possible by using it as fuel, rather than allowing it to escape to the upper atmosphere. It is interesting to note Britain led the world in the late 1970's in hydrogen vehicle technology due to the forward thinking of the former Prime Minister Harold Wilson - something Margaret Thatcher saw no use for and promptly discarded by giving it to the Americans. She also preferred to destroy the coal mining industry instead of investing in the development of technology to use coal cleanly, a highly saleable technology that alone would have been of tremendous benefit to the world and Britain. Privatise at any cost was her motto and as no one wanted our old-fashioned collection of power stations she gave cut-price licences for the building of a large number of gas fired power stations that squandered our half-century of North Sea gas reserves in just a few years and put more of our energy needs at the mercy of foreign powers. I mention these few things just to illustrate how wrong governments often are when they strive for political short-term solutions... I wager the history books will find government is wrong again...

Like it or lump it! Present day cars,trucks, etc smell, are poisoning the air we breath. I drive a car but even i can see that society needs to change. Stop prioritising road transport and diversify? Think outside the box. We have to ween ourselves off this dirty, outdated mode of tranportation!