In order for electric vehicles to go mainstream, it’ll take more than just people buying them: governments will have to create infrastructure that enables drivers to use them just as easily as regular cars. And that’s what the UK is trying to do with the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.
It was included in the Queen’s Speech (a list of laws that the government hopes to get approved by Parliament over the coming two years), and it requires gas stations to install charging points for electric vehicles across England, Wales and Scotland.
Such a law could certainly help alleviate drivers’ stress of remembering to fully charge their cars at home before leaving for the day – and hopefully make the prospect of opting for an electric vehicle more attractive.
As Sky News noted, the UK hopes to have “almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050”; the plan echoes London mayor Sadiq Khan’s vision to revamp the city’s transport systems to go green within the same time frame.
If the bill passes, will other countries follow suit? For many developing nations that are still hugely dependent on fossil fuels and internal combustion engine vehicles, it’ll likely take plenty of political will to bring about this change and overcome challenges related to public infrastructure.
The UK has a long way to go as well. Of the 36.7 million licensed vehicles there, only about 100,000 have been purchased with a government-issued electric vehicle grant. It’s still early days, but this could be the sort of jumpstart that the UK needs to ramp up the adoption of electric cars in the coming years.