Parking may be a shocker for electric cars: Fear over lack of spaces as larger, battery-powered vehicles are expected to take over the market
- There are currently around 34million cars on the road, up 28 per cent since 2001
- By 2050, car ownership predicted to rise by almost a third to 43.6million on road
- Roads are so congested that 60-mile journey on 60mph roads takes 85 minutes
Electric cars are widely considered to be crucial for a greener future.
But with millions of them set to take to already congested roads in the coming decades, the country faces a major shortage of parking spaces – and even more pollution, according to a report.
There are currently around 34million cars on the road, up 28 per cent since 2001 – a period during which the population has risen by only 13 per cent.
Electric cars are considered to be crucial for a greener future, but with millions of them set to take to already congested roads, the country faces a major shortage of parking spaces (file image)
By 2050, car ownership is predicted to rise by almost a third to 43.6million, with a traffic increase of 11 per cent, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
Parking spaces, already in short supply, face further pressure as cars get bigger – the average model is now 28 per cent larger than one from 1965.
The best-selling battery vehicles last year – the Tesla Model 3, Kia Niro and Jaguar I-Pace – are all longer and wider than the three best-selling internal combustion cars, the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and VW Golf.
Roads are currently so congested that a 60-mile journey on 60mph roads is reckoned to take 85 minutes at an average speed of 42mph.
The IPPR warns incentives to persuade the public to buy electric vehicles will backfire if they result in boosting car numbers.
The Government has announced a £2.8billion package including £1.3billion for charging points and discounts of up to £2,500 on low-emission vehicles costing less than £30,000.
The think-tank said the Government’s focus on electric cars will still require new roads to accommodate them, leading to more emissions.
While exhaust emissions might fall with electric cars, emissions resulting from building, charging and maintaining them will rise with more on the road.
Parking spaces, already in short supply, face further pressure as cars get bigger, like the Tesla Model 3, which is longer and wider than the three best-selling internal combustion cars (file image)
‘Electric vehicles are an essential part of the global response to decarbonisation of transport, but we must remember that there is no such thing as a zero-emissions vehicle,’ said the report.
It added more should be spent on encouraging walking, cycling and public transport.
Experts warn there could also be conflict between the owners of electric and petrol and diesel cars.
Professor Jillian Anable, of Leeds University, told the BBC that electric car drivers would ‘feel entitled to certain car-parking spaces’ while those with older models would ‘get further squeezed in terms of space’.