Today in the news: “Sir Richard Branson says plans to ban petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward to 2025”.
Which is nice for him – a billionaire – to postulate.
But real people buy cars over a 5-10 year lifespan. They need them to get to work in a country with woefully inadequate public transport alternatives. And, 87% of them buy on finance structures whose affordability is tethered to the future value of the car.
The car industry may be “developing rapidly”, but I’ve been looking at new cars, and the reality today is that there are no viable (affordable) all-electric options. There are electric cars too small to suit my family requirements, and even those have severely limited range (unable to do a family trip to Devon for example), and charge far too slowly to be useful. Finding a 13-amp socket to charge from, let alone a 100kW charging station, is simply too unreliable to support my transport needs.
I have no choice but to look at petrol or diesel hybrids at best. Both of which are subject to his proposed ban.
So, what does that his proposal of a 7-year deadline do to my potential car’s future value right now in 2018? It compresses it to zero, meaning my purchase cost and/or lease rate will approximately double.
And I’m sure that’s affordable to a billionaire. To the rest of us, not so much.