Shocker; Electric cars… In the news… Again!
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2019 has seen a surge of interest in electric cars. There are three main reasons for this:
- Firstly, the impact of government legislation banning sales of all non-electric cars by 2040 is gradually seeping into our consciousness. Yes, it is still a very long time away. But when we are making decisions about whether to buy a new car and what type of car to buy, it is now firmly in the back of our minds.
- Secondly, there has been a significant increase in interest in electric vehicles due to the environmental news agenda and the growing visibility of climate change protests. According to research by automotive analysis company Sophus3, there has been a 56% increase in online interest and research into electric cars since early April. Much of this seems to have been influenced by both the launch of Ultra Low Emissions zone in London and the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests.
- The third factor spiking interest in electric cars is the growing availability of these cars. For example, a new, more affordable, Tesla model was launched in the UK in May. And the list of manufacturers now making electric cars continues to grow: now including Tesla, MG, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Nissan, Hyundai, VW, Kia, BMW and Renault – to name but a few!
Electric car owners were recently given more good news when the government announced that they may soon be given special green number plates. These would enable local authorities to offer zero-emission vehicles benefits such as cheaper parking. The hope is that this will prove to be an additional incentive to boost electric car sales.
However, in the midst of all the above developments, one key individual has decided to pull out of the electric car market. covered the exciting news that the British inventor James Dyson was developing a new electric car. However, he has now decided that this is not financially viable.
The Dyson car – which was never intended to be aimed at the mass market – was described as radical and different. It was to be built in Singapore, with the first vehicles due to roll off the production line in 2021. Dyson intended to invest over £2bn in developing both the car and new electric batteries.
However, because of the cost of developing the car, Dyson has concluded that the sums simply don’t add up. He describes his decision to scrap the project not as a product failure or failure of the team. “This is not the first project which has changed direction and it will not be the last.”
Dyson plans to spend the rest of the funds intended for the electric car project on developing other products. These include making a quantum leap in electric car battery technology. “Our battery will benefit Dyson in a profound way and take us in exciting new directions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the other major manufacturers listed above are continuing to plough huge amounts of money into the development of electric cars. The hope is that by making such investment now, economies of scale will gradually make the technology cheaper and being to generate the profits that are needed for the future.
So, despite the withdrawal of Dyson from the electric car market, it still has very much a glowing future, and is a topic that Logbook Loans will return to soon in this column.