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  • Dec 8, 2022

  • 6 min read


What you need to know about the future of electric cars

From 2030 onwards, every new car sold in the UK will be electric or hybrid. Electric cars are undoubtedly the future of motoring and at the time of writing there are already more than one million plug in electric cars registered for UK roads and this number is growing every day. But when will electric cars be as cheap as petrol cars? And when will every car on the road be an EV? We have some thoughts.

How many electric cars are in the UK?

EV market data from SMMT shows that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in November 2022 accounted for more than 20% of new car registrations.

Back in September the millionth plug-in car was registered in the UK, with more than 620,000 of those being BEVs and a further 440,000 being plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). There are nearly 33 million cars registered in the UK in total so the number of EVs still represents a small proportion of all the cars on our roads.

Are electric car sales increasing?

Yes, UK electric car sales are booming. In November 2022 EVs had their biggest growth in the monthly share of the new car market with an increase of 35% compared to the same time last year.

In 2022, nearly a quarter of a million BEVs were registered in the UK alone. It’s expected that 1 in 4 households will buy an electric car in the next five years.

Now, more than ever drivers are able to pick from a fantastic variety of new electric cars from mainstream manufacturers, making going electric easier than ever before.

The government says it’s invested £1.6 billion for the roll out of more EV charging points with specific focus on drivers who don’t have access to off street parking, to improve on street charging and rapid charging for longer journeys. There’s never been a better time to switch to an EV.

As more people make the switch to electric, it’s not really surprising to read that sales of diesel cars slumped in 2022. Recent surveys show that only 5% of drivers in the market for a new car would consider a diesel. And in December 2021, EVs outsold diesel cars for the first time ever across 18 countries in Europe. The tide is well and truly flowing in the EV’s direction!

Will electric cars get cheaper?

Like any new technology, the more they’re built and sold, the more affordable electric cars will become. This is because the car manufacturers will achieve greater cost efficiencies the more cars they can sell. Batteries in particular, which are the most expensive part of an EV, are expected to become much cheaper over time.

Many experts are predicting there could be price equality between EVs and petrol cars by as soon as 2027.  Battery costs are predicted to come down 58% by 2030, making them cheaper than combustion engines and they’ll become an affordable option for all drivers.

When will all cars be electric in the UK?

This depends on how you classify all cars. If it’s all new car sales, that’s easy. Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030. But you’ll still be able to buy new plug-in hybrid petrol-electric and diesel-electric cars until 2035 in the UK.

So from 2035, the only new car you’ll be able to buy will be powered by an electric motor or another alternative fuel such as hydrogen..

It’s unlikely that petrol and diesel cars will be completely eliminated from our roads. For a start, there’s a booming UK classic car scene. At the end of 2021, official figures showed there were about a quarter of a million pre-1979 classics still on the road.

It’s also worth remembering the 2035 ban is only for new cars. It doesn’t take into account motorbikes, mopeds or commercial vehicles such as vans and lorries. And that means fossil fuels will still be sold for years to come. But it’s impossible to know for how long.

Cars live for around 14 years on average. So many of the last petrol and diesel models sold in the run up to 2030 will go to the breaker’s yard in the mid-2040s. And by that time it’s likely motorbikes and trucks will have made the switch to electric too. At a guess, we’ll probably have fewer service stations selling petrol and diesel by 2050.

How can I afford a new electric car?

Leasing a new EV is a great way to pay for your car with manageable monthly payments rather than a high upfront price.

Our salary sacrifice scheme lets you lease a brand new EV for a monthly amount that’s deducted straight from your salary before tax.  Depending on your tax bracket, you could save up to 40% on the cost of a new EV.

On top of that, personal contract hire is also available through Octopus Electric Vehicles. It’s designed to take the hassle out of driving with a single up-front monthly payment to cover everything you need to hit the road. .

Whether it's a home EV charger, servicing and repairs, replacement tyres or breakdown cover, it’s included in your monthly payment. Switch your electricity supply to our Intelligent Octopus Go tariff and you’ll get a free home charger, 4,000 miles of free home charging, plus access to our exclusive discounted EV Saver rate - saving you an extra 1p on off-peak charging rates. If you don’t have off-street parking, you’ll still get 4,000 miles of public charging with Electroverse.