Written evidence from Mrs Diane Moir (ELV0029)

5th September 2023

 

Submission re Electric Vehicles from Diane Moir in a personal capacity.

I care about the environment and have in the past purchased solar panels and an air source heat pump. An EV seemed the next purchase to make but I have yet to be convinced an EV will provide me with the same type of convenience I get from my current car. I usually change my car between 8 and 10 years after purchasing and as far as I can see an EV would not last that long as I would need to renew the battery. I am submitting evidence as I believe this legislation has been rushed through without thought as to the impact it will have on the average person. I also think the car industry needs to improve the range of EVs at the lower price levels as too much emphasis has been placed on producing cars at the top end of the market.

 

  1. From my point of view the main obstacles to the phase out dates is the cost of electric vehicles and how long they will last compared to a conventional petrol cars as battery life is only circa 8 years, their range and the amount of reliable charging points. I am also concerned at the impact on the environment of disposal of these batteries and their construction in the first place because they use so many minerals that are mined in places that have little or no regard for their workers. Amnesty has stated every EV should carry a Government health warning because of the use of child labour in these mines. When I bought a new car two years ago I looked at the EV market but was unable to find one that met my needs and that I could afford. 
  2. There is currently no incentive for me to buy an EV as an equivalent model to my petrol car costs £9/10k more.

5.  The information currently available does not inspire me to buy an EV. Much of what I have read is first-hand accounts of owning an EV and it is difficult to gage how accurate any of the information is. Car manufacturers are also guilty of not providing accurate information especially where range of the EV is stated.

6. Cleaner air is obviously the best environmental impact from the use of EVs but this must be offset by the detrimental effects of mining the necessary minerals and the possible impact of thousands of batteries just dumped as there are no recycling facilities in the UK at the moment. We could end up with a real problem with these batteries even worse than the plastic pollution we have now. EVs are also heavier than current petrol cars which will also have a detrimental effect on the environment as tyres wear out quicker and roads will require resurfacing more often.

7. As stated above EVs are expensive most cost over £30K outside many people’s affordability. The EVs with the best range are usually circa £60k and above totally out of reach of most people especially pensioners.

9. From my perspective cost is the main barrier to owning an EV. I live in Cornwall where there is little public transport so range is important too. Our hospital is an 80mile round trip which can take a couple of hours in the summer months. If stuck in a traffic jam I would be worried not only of missing my appointment but also of running out of charge. The manufactures advise the range of EVs can be reduced by up to 40% in extreme heat or cold hardly inspiring confidence. Owners of EVs are also warned not to use their heaters or air conditioning in extreme cold or heat which begs the question why would you buy one?

11.  I do not think the range of EVs at the lower end of the market is sufficient to meet the needs of the average car buyer. The current incentives are also not sufficient to encourage me to buy an EV.

13/15. I have read the resale value of EVs is much less than their petrol equivalent as the battery life is much reduced and the cost of replacement batteries is in the thousands. 

16. In rural areas there is little alternative transport and most people are totally reliant on their cars. In cities it is a different story and too often rural areas are ignored as if they do not matter.

17. Consumers are charged higher insurance rates because EVs are more expensive to repair and if the battery is damaged it must be replaced. 

21. There are currently insufficient charging points at motorway service stations and at other locations throughout the country. I recently read it is also necessary to have multiple Apps to use the various different chargers so there must be a market for multiple charger types.

25. I have solar panels so I have an incentive to have an EV as in the summer months charging the vehicle would be cheaper than using petrol. However without solar panels the current cost of electricity means there is little incentive to own an EV.

26. As stated above the recycling of the batteries is a very important issue for me and the current lack of recycling facilities in the UK is a major drawback to owning an EV.

29. It is a well know fact the National Grid currently struggles in the winter months to supply everyone with electricity therefore in my opinion is not in a position to meet the needs of everyone switching to EVs.