As the government works towards its target of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, encouraging a mass shift towards electric cars is key. However, as recently highlighted by the government’s spokesperson on climate, Allegra Stratton who said, “I don’t fancy it just yet,” when asked about trading in her diesel car for an electric one, many drivers are not ready to make the leap.

Although this comment attracted criticism, it chimed with many people who also have concerns about making long car journeys within the current UK charging network using the limited ranges of many of the electric cars that are currently available.

What is range anxiety?

Fundamentally, people are concerned that their car’s charge isn’t going to be enough to get them where they want to go. This hasn’t been helped by claims that EV manufacturers have been exaggerating the length of the journeys their latest models can make. Consumers are far more concerned about the implications of running out of electricity than petrol or diesel, as it’s not quite as simple as popping to the petrol station to top up when electricity runs low.

As we all know, curveballs can be thrown into the most carefully planned journey in the form of traffic jams, unexpected detours or the need to use energy on heating or air conditioning for prolonged periods of time. Until drivers can feel confident that their electric car will be reliable in a range of circumstances and that charging will be readily available when they do need to stop, this hesitancy will continue, as the recent comments from the government’s climate advisor shows.

How big a range is needed?

What people may not have considered is the fact that they don’t necessarily need huge ranges on their cars. The average range on modern electric cars is 190 miles. Not only does the AA recommend drivers take a break after 200 miles in any case, which would make a perfect time to stop and recharge, but people rarely drive more than 200 miles in a journey and the typical commute is only 50 miles. On top of this, the number of public charging points in the UK has increased hugely over the past few years; there are now over 25,000, with 5,000 of those being rapid or ultra-rapid chargers. Some of these chargers can charge an electric car from 20% to 80% in just half an hour. Elon Musk has also recently revealed that Tesla is planning to open its enviable charging network to all EV brands, something that it has already committed to in Norway.

A long road to travel

Statistics show that 14.5% of new cars purchased between January and June 2021 were electric, and approximately 1.3% of cars on the roads in the UK are now EVs. So, there is still a long way to go to reach the goal of banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. However, with technology constantly improving and the EV charging network rapidly expanding, there is cause for optimism that EV take-up will gather pace.

Gearing up for green

As part of the collective effort to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030, at Interflex we will be continuing our legacy of innovation by designing NVH and sealing solutions for a green future. To find out more, please call us on 01949 861 494 or email