One of the main restrictions on increasing the speed limit on motorways is the amount of pollution it would potentially cause. Vehicles emit higher levels of CO2 when driving at faster speeds . A reduction in these emissions due to more EVs would lessen the environmental impact of a higher speed limit.
Discussing the potential change, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“I think there is an argument for looking at our speed limits, both in terms of higher speed limits and actually lower limits - 20mph outside of schools.
“When it was last looked at in 2011, it was thought the carbon emission addition would be too great. But since I am a driver of an electric car myself, I got to thinking about whether that would still be the case. I think there is an argument that once you have increased the level of electrification and therefore decreased or entirely removed carbon, that you might look at those things again."
Around 246,000 people in the UK own electric vehicles as of October 2019. This number has increased from 3,500 since 2013 – a massive rise of nearly 7,000% over six years.
While the number of electric vehicles is increasing, EVs only represent around 1% of the total cars on the road in the UK. Considering the government pledge to stop the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, a significant shift in both the infrastructure and attitude toward electric vehicles will need to happen – and quickly.
Prices of EVs are generally higher than petrol and diesel cars. This balances out with cheaper running costs and maintenance but the upfront investment is still a hurdle to ownership.
EVs start at around £8,000, however, they could be comparable to petrol and diesel cars in as little as six years.
Government grants for electric vehicles can make affording one easier. The Plug-In Car Grant could give you £3,500 off the purchase price of a new, low-emission vehicle. Increased incentives – or increased awareness of these incentives – could help more people make the switch.
This article contains links to other sites, and we're not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.
All content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts.