Motorists face £700 billion bill for going electric

  • Date: 27/11/20
  • The Global Warming Policy Forum

A new estimate of the cost of decarbonising private transport suggests that motorists might have to foot a bill for £700 billion if they want to stay on the roads. Ongoing motoring costs could double.

According to author Andrew Montford, the great uncertainty is the future cost of battery electric vehicles:

EVs are currently much more expensive than equivalent petrol cars – in the case of the VW Golf, nearly 40% more expensive. It’s anyone’s guess whether that cost differential will shrink as mass production kicks in, or whether it will grow as competition for scarce minerals in EV batteries increases.”

If the differential is maintained, then by 2050 each household might have spent an average of an extra £19,000, once infrastructure like chargers and upgraded wiring are taken into account. And the ongoing costs of motoring will be much higher too.

As Montford explains, 

Several aspects of EVs make them more costly than petrol cars – the need to renew batteries, the time wasted at charging points, the need to find alternative transport when their range is inadequate. That’s only going to get worse as electricity prices soar in future. We could easily see the cost of motoring double. The working classes are going to be driven off the roads.”  

The cost sheet “Cost of Decarbonising Cars” is available here (pdf)

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