This is what is coming, according to a new report just published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The UK transport sector accounts for almost one quarter of the nation’s CO2 emissions, and Government targets aim to reduce those emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.
So we need to find new ways to power our transport.
Paris has announced plans for an electric vehicle hire scheme similar to its ‘Velib’ bike project with between 2,000 and 4,000 vehicles available.
In Denmark there are already more than 10,000 electric vehicles on the roads. There will be an extensive charging network in place by 2011, with the batteries of electric vehicle being used as energy storage for their National Grid. Renault-Nissan will market vehicles at half the price of conventional cars with significant tax breaks from the Government .
Portugal plans to introduce a national electric vehicle charging network from 2011.
Israel aims to end its dependence on oil by 2020 and will have an electric vehicle charging grid and battery exchange stations by 2010. (That’s next year!)
With the UK’s automotive sector currently turning over £50bn, employing 850,000 people, and with a global reputation for research and development, design engineering and manufacturing, this is a transition we need to be leading.
And, as the report also points out, “Technological solutions such as advanced traditional engines, hybrids, electric vehicles and bio-fuels will all play their part. But technology alone will not deliver all the answers. Society will [also] need to contribute by modifying the way in which we plan our travel requirements, if we are to succeed.”
You can download the report here (2MB).
Low Carbon Vehicles: Driving the UK’s Transport Revolution; Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 19 pages, May 2009.