With nearly 40 million cars on the road in Great Britain, the changing face of the automotive industry is set to have a huge impact both in this country and across the world.
The government recently brought forward its deadline to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035, meaning that the vast majority of the cars we use every day will be obsolete technology midway through the next decade.
Less than one per cent of the new cars currently sold in the UK are electric, but it is technology that many of us will have to get familiar with – and fast.
Plug-in electric cars are becoming more and more familiar on our roads, with charging points now a feature of most car parks and even some of our workplaces.
A push towards other green technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells, could give consumers plenty of choice in the future, while advancements in the harvesting of kinetic and heat energy could make these cars even more efficient in the future.
With new power sources already in the pipeline, attention is now turning to other advancements, such as autonomous cars that can drive themselves from A to B.
Where will we charge them?
Not many electric cars on the market are currently capable of longer journeys without needing to stop to be charged, which can put people off investing in them.
Of course, as the technology becomes more prevalent in our lives, the infrastructure will follow. But questions remain pertinent about how blocks of flats and offices will cope with the demands of potentially vast numbers of people all needing to use charging points, where currently a handful might be in place at the most.
Will they be safer?
Moves towards self-driving vehicles have brought a renewed look at the safety of cars. For so long, our welfare on the road has been in the hands of our fellow drivers, but the potential mixture of human-controlled and autonomous vehicles throws up many questions.
Self-driving cars could offer a new lease of life to certain members of society. For example, disabled drivers may be able to get on the roads easier than is currently possible. Allied Mobility convert many vehicles for disabled access, but autonomous cars may not need the same level of customisation.
Will I have to sell my petrol car?
No, 2035 will not bring around enforced car sales, although you won’t be able to buy a new car that runs on diesel or petrol from then.
You will still be able to drive your existing car, while it has even been predicted that 2034 could see a spike in the sale of diesel and petrol cars ahead of them being banned.
The UK government has so far revealed no plans about schemes that will incentivise drivers who opt for greener vehicles ahead of the deadline.