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“Electric cars are the future; we’ve gone too far for there to be any other dominant tech”

Editor Paul Barker thinks the next Prime Minister has a big motoring to-do list, including issues around electric cars and hybrids

Opinion - EV charging

We’re finally off, then. After lots of speculation over the past few months, a bedraggled Rishi Sunak has confirmed the general election will take place on 4 July. If the bookies are to be believed, then it’s potentially the biggest foregone conclusion in my lifetime, but I’m just pleased they’re all finally getting on with it.

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That’s because, while I’m not expecting the motorists’ vote to be especially courted, once the election is out of the way, we’ll have a Government, be it new or otherwise, that can get cracking on a hefty to-do list.

For motorists, that means everything from issues such as the pothole crisis and road planning, through to the pathway to zero-emission motoring and what that will look like in reality. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s coming, and the car industry needs to know how and when. The next Government will be aware that it’s got to deliver a proper roadmap during its term, so it really ought to crack on early in its tenure.

Any technology that isn’t electric has been dismissed, maybe too quickly. My suspicion is that, while synthetic fuels were maybe a decade too late in development, they could still have some applications and save the petrol engine from extinction. But electric cars are the future; we’re too far down the path for there to be any other dominant tech, and we need a clear direction as soon as possible post-election about what is going to happen and when.

There’s a big grey area around hybrids, which are an increasingly popular transition technology as buyers resist the move to full electric. So what level of hybrid will or won’t be allowed needs clearing up. In an ideal world, Plug-in hybrids with an appealing real-world electric range of around 100 miles – about that of the original Nissan Leaf – and the back-up of a petrol tank would help reduce anxiety about going electric and bring people more gently into the future.

Prime Minister and Government of 2024, from 5 July, it’s over to you.

Do you agree with Paul? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

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As Editor, Paul’s job is to steer the talented group of people that work across Auto Express, Carbuyer and Driving Electric, and steer the titles to even bigger and better things by bringing the latest important stories to our readers. Paul has been writing about cars and the car industry since 2000, working for consumer and business magazines as well as freelancing for national newspapers, industry titles and a host of major publications.

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