This week, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the ban on sales of new Petrol and Diesel powered cars was to be brought forward from 2040 to 2035. This decision came on the back of pressure from the Parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee and the Parliamentary Business Committee who had both urged the Government to bring the ban on fossil fuelled cars forward to as soon as 2030 – 2032.

In a surprise move, the Prime Minister also extended the ban to include Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, both of which have proved extremely popular in the UK Market. The news comes as part of the UK Climate Change Summit, where Mr Johnson set out th UK’s position as a world leader in the battle with climate change.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said of the announcement “Last year alone, a fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes. We want to go further than ever before. That’s why we are bringing forward our target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to tackle climate change and reduce emissions.”

What does this mean for Electricians?

As of December 2019 265,000 plug-in cars were registered in the UK, with a further quarter of a million expected to be registered by the end of the year. Moreover, 2020 will be the first year where electric vehicle sales in Europe will exceed a million units sold. As we reported last month, billions of pounds are being invested into Solid State Battery research and this in it’s self is likely to make internal combustion engines defunct within the next decade. With this in mind, the future for electricians looks very bright.

A report published last month by the National Grid stated that 100,000’s of people will need to be recruited into the electrical industry to reach the goal to cut overall emissions to net zero by 2050 as part of the Governments ‘Road to Zero’ strategy. The study highlights the need to fill 400,000 positions in skilled tradespeople, engineers and other specialist electrical areas across the country as part of the UK’s legally binding targets on greenhouse emissions. With the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars being brought forward this week, that number is expected to increase even further.

Is the UK ready?

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor manufacturers and Traders, which represents the UK car industry, called the UK electric car public charging network ‘woefully inadequate‘ in it’s current incarnation, highlighting the desperate need for more electricians to work on the charging infrastructure if we are to be in a viable position to embrace the ban in 2035.

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