Solicitors In Lancaster Discuss The Future Of Electric Cars
Posted on 11th March 2020
The future is bright, the future is, electric. The current UK Government has recently moved forward the date for all cars sold to be either fully electric or hydrogen powered with petrol and diesel to be banned. With over 32 million cars on the road in the UK, this means that rapid change is going to be necessary to the transport infrastructure to cope with this change.
Infrastructure and transport usually bring to mind things like traffic management and building bypasses, but in this instance, it will mean a complete overhaul of the fuelling, or as it will likely be in the majority of cases, charging system. No longer will topping up the car mean spending five minutes at a petrol station, with most cars doing several hundred miles before needing more fuel.
Even the most rapid chargers for cars can take around 30 minutes to charge with most people opting for the standard charge which takes around 7-8 hours, in effect an overnight charge. This clearly creates issues both with daily users, who might not have access to a parking space or driveway outside their house and to people on longer journeys who would previously simply stop at a service station and top up their petrol, albeit at a premium price for motorway service stations.
There are a number of other considerations as well for those buying electric cars which is whether their home town will have capacity for electric vehicles, with many charging points currently being situated at supermarkets, hotels and similar locations, whether the local or national electricity grid can cope with the increase in demand and ultimately, whether there will be sufficient investment in this area to warrant buying the vehicle.
Currently, investment in the electric charging network in the UK is run at a loss, however, firms are doing so knowing that in the future, people will be forced to use their charging points. A rapid 30 minute charge is said to cost roughly £6.50 on average at motorway service stations, with many manufacturers stating that electric vehicles can be run at a cost of two pence per mile. Whether, when this is the only option, hydrogen powered vehicles appearing to be a distant second in terms of current manufacturer investment, the price of charging increases to cover the cost of significant investment but also because it is the only option and the power of persuasion is no longer needed remains to be seen.
At MG Legal, your local solicitors Lancaster, many of us are car enthusiasts and we are very much interested in the way this sector develops over the coming years. There are still a lot of questions to be answered, much work to be done, developments will emerge and only time will tell if the new deadline of 2035 for petrol and diesel cars to be removed from the market is achievable. There are concerns with the way the National Grid will cope with the demand, particularly overnight when most homes will charge their vehicles, which will also only truly be answered when the demand itself increases. More rural communities will also likely be last to receive any upgrades or additions and so, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that electric vehicles could be stuck in these locations for a long time whilst a charging point is found.
Coupled with this is the new legislation with regards to self-driving cars which is likely to be in place long before this change and a whole host of potential new issues can arise – who doesn’t know that feeling of uncertainty when their computer or phone decides that it needs to install an update? How often does the update then conflict with something else or not work as it should do?
What we can say is that the basic Laws which govern the way we live our lives will remain broadly the same with some changes to reflect the change in need. Whether the target of 2035 will remain or if it will move as the readiness of the nation to move to electric is not at the level it should be is a question only time will answer. Here at MG Legal, your local solicitors Lancaster, we have one eye on the future but we are also keen to stay up to date with the present requirements of the Law and the needs of our clients.
And the elephant in the room? Well, in a world where employers are making workplaces safer so as to avoid personal injury to their employees, and the government introducing smart motorways, so as to avoid road traffic accidents, car manufacturers are making electric cars, with all of the electric cars currently on their way to the marketplace using large arrays of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries- these being prone to explode, causing injury to the driver, and potentially, other road users.
We've learned to live with the dangers of cars with internal combustion engines. Car makers have put considerable effort into developing systems that reduce the loss of life and personal injury – seatbelts, airbags, ABS brakes, xenon headlamps are prime examples -- and beyond that we simply accept that a certain loss of life and personal injury, due to accidents is the inevitable price we pay for all the benefits that modern vehicles avail us of. In some cases, that includes saving lives. Just think of all the lives that would be lost if ambulances powered by internal combustion engines weren't available. Maybe, in the end, more lives are saved by cars than are ended.
Should you need legal representation, whether for a personal injury claim, family or children matters, sale, purchase, transfer of property or other conveyancing needs or should you need assistance with wills, probate or powers of attorney, please contact MG Legal, your local solicitors Lancaster and we will put you in touch with one of our specialist departments straight away. We aim to accept all personal injury cases on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) and we offer fixed fees for the vast majority of other services. We are happy to hear from you by phone, email, web-contact form or in person if you drop into one of our offices in Lancaster, Longridge or Garstang.
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