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Are we there yet? Electric cars and the future of transport
Professor Dale Harrow – Chair of the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre (IMDC) and Head of the Intelligent Mobility Design Programme at the Royal College of Art
Xavier Brice – CEO of Sustrans
Are electric cars the key to hitting our green targets? In Europe, the industry has taken off, and in the UK more electric cars were sold in 2020 alone than in the previous decade.
However, according to the Climate Change Committee, the Government’s ambitious plan to cut CO2 emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 will require 46 per cent of the UK’s 35 million cars to be zero-emission vehicles by the same year. Based on 2020 car ownership levels, this would mean replacing around 16.1 million cars with electric vehicles. To achieve this, almost every single one of the approximately 2 million new cars registered in the UK each year would have to be electric over the next nine years (2021). It’s an ambitious target.
Is there a better and more beneficial path to success than investment in electric cars? Shouldn’t we instead be investing in trains, buses, and roads – changing the way we travel, as well as updating the vehicles we’re travelling in?