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18 Nov 2020

2030 ban of new petrol and diesel cars: what will it mean for you?

UK public charging network only accounts for 16% of electric car charging

The UK government is bringing forward the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 to 2030.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the 2030 ban as part of a package of green initiatives.

This will be the second time the ban has come forward. It previously changed from 2040 to 2035 (announced February 2020) and now from 2035 to 2030.

New hybrid cars can remain on sale until 2035. We do not know if this will include all types of hybrid car (mild-hybrids, full hybrids and plug-in hybrids).

The ban does not affect used cars - only new cars. So you will still be able to buy used petrol and diesel cars after 2030.

The Prime Minister also outlined new investment in electric vehicle charging points.

Keep reading to find out how a non-deal Brexit will affect electric car prices, plus what we've discovered about electric car recharging.

If you want to cut your emissions, why wait for 2030? Our independent lab and road tests reveal the best electric cars for 2020

Is the UK ready to go electric?

Sales of electric cars has been rising for years, but still only make up a small percentage of all new UK car sales.

The latest figures published by car industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that year-to-date sales of electric cars is 5.4%, up from just 1.3% when compared with the same period in 2019.

One common gripe of electric cars is the cost of the car itself. Even with the £3,000 grant that electric cars qualify for, electric cars are still generally pricier than their non-electric counterparts.

Should the UK leave the EU without a trade deal, a number of popular car manufacturers have told Which? that car prices could rise as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

Adding to price woes, the SMMT has also warned that no-deal price rises may affect electric cars more than non-electric. It predicts prices for electric cars could rise by around £2,800, effectively cancelling out the UK's government grant for electric cars.

Not ready for a fully electric car? Watch our hybrid cars explained video

Use our free tool to find a low emission car.

Most electric car charging happens at home

The latest Which? car survey reveals that 78% of electric car charging happens at home*, suggesting that the majority of electric car owners are those with a driveway.

The same survey revealed that the UK public charging network accounts for just 16% of electric car charging.

Where electric car charging happens in the UK

Graph showing where electric cars are charged

The public charging network in the UK is a mixture of national and local networks, plug types and different power levels.

But thanks to the large number of different networks of chargers, most of which require you to register with the service prior to charging your car via an app or a website, it can be more confusing than filling your car with petrol or diesel.

Lisa Barber, Which? cars editor, said: 'This announcement raises the question as to whether the public electric car charging infrastructure is going to be fit for purpose in less than 10 years' time.

'Our survey shows that the vast majority of electric car charging happens at people's homes, suggesting electric cars are currently bought by people who have off-road parking, potentially where a domestic wall-charger can be installed.

'But not everyone has a driveway. So to help make electric cars a viable option for more UK consumers, the public charging network needs to become larger, simpler and much more accessible than it is today.'

Responding to the announcement, industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: 'Success will depend on reassuring consumers that they can afford these new technologies, that they will delivery their mobility needs and, critically, that they can recharge as easily as they refuel.'

You can find out more about the public charging network, home charging and how much it costs to charge an electric car with our electric car charging guide.

*Data from the 2020 Which? Car survey, in field from December 2019 to February 2020. A total of 47,013 UK car owners told us about 55,833 cars, including 1,016 electric cars.

(This story was first published on 16 November and updated on 18 November to take into account the official announcement.)