Electric Feel – the new breed of electric cars

Transport is now the highest emitting sector of the UK economy, accounting for 22% of total GHG emissions, 113 MtCO2e in 2019. Cars comprise 13% of the UK’s GHG emissions and action is required to drive down transport emissions, as they have remained largely flat since 1990. Enter the electric car…

“Climate change is the buzz phrase on everyone’s lips at the moment, and this all-encompassing, global issue is not going away anytime soon. It’s easy to become disheartened and wonder what we can do as individuals to tackle climate change at micro and macro levels, given the global changes required, but perhaps there is light on the horizon for us mere mortals?

The Climate Change Commission’s briefing statement - The UK’s transition to electric vehicles - states that: “The full transition to electric vehicles (EVs) will be one of the most important actions to achieve the UK’s Net Zero target. By 2032 at the latest, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has called for all new light-duty vehicles sold, including passenger vehicles, taxis, vans, motorbikes and mopeds, to be fully battery-electric vehicles. To reach Net Zero, all vehicles – including heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) – must be fossil fuel free by 2050.”

We may not be able to make a large dent in the issues around burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation, but we can certainly make a conscious decision to use our car purchase to reduce our carbon footprint and emissions. It’s estimated that switching from a petrol vehicle to an electric vehicle reduces your CO2 emissions by 50%.

The Government’s ‘The Road to Zero’ industrial strategy estimates that in 2018 an EV car in the UK has total associated greenhouse gas emissions 66% lower than a petrol car and 60% lower than a diesel car. Add to that rising fuel costs, an increase in electric car charging points, government grants for switching and the threat of pollution charges across UK cities and electric cars become even more attractive.

According to the RAC, as of April 2021, there are around 239,000 zero-emission Battery Electric Vehicles on the UK's roads - with more than 100,000 registered in 2020 alone - along with 259,000 plug-in hybrids and 629,000 conventional hybrids. As a country we’re certainly getting on board with the switch to electric cars!

The RAC has produced a guide to the best electric cars available in 2021.