In response to Richard Branson’s comments about bringing forward the deadline to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to 2025, Al Preston, co-founder at online garage and car repair marketplace, WhoCanFixMyCar.com has said the 2040 ban “is already a very ambitious goal”.
Al Preston said: “Although a utopian vision when considering the environment is an admirable thing, it’s incredibly unrealistic to think that the UK could ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 rather than the current deadline of 2040.
“In reality, 2040 is already a very ambitious goal.
“There are many deep-rooted challenges we face as an industry, the biggest being infrastructure.
“Our country simply does not yet have enough charging points for everyone to charge vehicles and to get there the price tag would be phenomenal.
“And who would be paying?
“Perhaps the government will start knocking at the door of big vehicle manufacturers to fix this problem.
“Another fact is that technology itself is not evolving fast enough.
“UK plc is travelling up and down our motorways every second of the day.
“Think about our HGV and commercial vehicle drivers, as well as the fleets of huge corporations, who rely on traditional fuel vehicles that allow them to do hundreds of miles at a time.
“Of course, there are plans to launch commercial vehicles that offer a long range on one charge – like the Tesla Semi that is planned for production in 2019 – but again this isn’t offering an immediate solution.
“It will require huge investment on behalf of any fleet-dependent business and SMEs will need time to be able to make that investment.
“The skills shortage when it comes to garages understanding how to service and fix issues with electric vehicles is also a big problem.
“Change is happening, and the industry is becoming almost unrecognisable compared with 20 years ago, but garages need more skills investment to service the growing influx of electric vehicles.
“It’s now going to be up to vehicle manufacturers to fix skills deficits by training the aftermarket where it comes to new technology and parts.
“I think we will see more vehicle manufacturers accrediting individual garages as we move closer to electric vehicles.
“Certainly, a lot needs to happen before we are all driving electric.
“This issue is multi-layered and, unfortunately, can’t be solved with one pair of rose-tinted glasses.
“No matter how much we wish it could.”
WhoCanFixMyCar.com is an online car garage and repair marketplace connecting 11,000 garage and repair centres with drivers around the UK.
The site has 1 million users and recently processed more than 170,000 quotes through the site in one month.
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