Brexit Britain’s EV price to ‘plummet’ to same as petrol with ‘new generation’ factories
Electric vehicle infrastructure is vital for transition says expert
The UK is planning a huge gigafactory drive, with plans for boosts and new factories popping up across the country. Back in July, Britishvolt announced plans for a huge new electric car battery gigafactory that will be built on a 235-acre site in Northumberland and will supply around 3,000 jobs.
And the West Midlands Gigafactory, the UK’s largest, said it will start supplying high-tech batteries for electric vehicles from 2025 as a result of a £2.5billion investment.
While the UK currently only has one gigafactory in operation, the huge Chinese-owned facility in Sunderland is also going to see a big expansion.
Envision said that the plant, which produces the Nissan Leaf, has said it will boost production capacity by 38 gigawatt-hours (GWh), an increase from a previous plan of 11GWh that was announced in July.
All these measures will help to push down the costs of EVs, argues James Morris, a technology expert and editor of WhichEV.
The cost of EVs could “plummet” as early as 2023
Tesla cars, the most popular EV brand
He told Express.co.uk: “Everything shrinks, technology gets faster and cheaper all the time, but particularly batteries.
“What happens with these things is that when someone puts investment in to create the next generation of batteries, it is really expensive.
“But once you have paid it, you then see that what each one of these gigafactories will enable is a new generation of cheap supply.
“Once they have paid off the cost of making that really expensive factory, the price will plummet.”
He said that sooner or later, EVs will become even more affordable than regular petrol or diesel cars.
An electric vehicle being charged
He told Express.co.uk: “In steps, they will get cheaper and cheaper. Every year there is going to be a new benchmark.
“Probably within about two years time, you are going to see an EV with comparable capabilities being the same price as a petrol or diesel version.
“By 2023, 2024 or 2025, around this time that parity is going to happen and after that, EVs are going to be cheaper than petrol cars and that is when people are going to stop buying petrol and diesel cars.”
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson set a target to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030 as part of his push to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
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When asked whether he thought Britain will be ready to meet the target by that date, Mr Morris responded: “Yes, I do actually.”
So far, experts have said that the main problem with the UK’s rollout of EVs has been the high cost.
Mr Morris said that while EVs are bound to get cheaper soon, countries like Norway are currently ahead of Britain.
He said: “The standout leader in Europe is Norway. About eight or nine out of 10 cars sold there are battery electric vehicles, their market has totally flipped.
“Germany and France as well both have better incentives for buying battery electric vehicles than we do.”
This has caused British MPs to question the likelihood of the UK reaching its 2030 petrol and diesel car sale ban on schedule.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which evaluates the effectiveness and value of Government proposals, said that while the Government sets “ambitious targets” for the energy transition, the cost of EVs is still a big obstacle that Britain needs to overcome to increase uptake.
The committee said it is “not persuaded that the upfront costs are low enough for many”, pointing out that there are currently only 13 electric car models costing less than £30,000.
But if Mr Morris is right, then Britain’s huge Gigafactory expansion means that this obstacle can no doubt be climbed, and should allow the UK to cruise to its 2030 target.