Fuel-gate, 2017

Okay, the UK Government has announced that 2040 will see the demise of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. Does this mean petrol is dead? Is the petrol-head’s time over? Will we be relegated to the realms of ‘in my day…’? And of course ‘I remember when this traffic jam was nothing but fumes and noise?’

No. Of course not.

For one thing, the average age of a car that is scrapped in the UK is currently just under 14 years old. And this average is increasing as cars last longer and are less prone to rust and other events that would easily spell a one-way trip to the scrappers. So in fact, even on current averages, the internal combustion engine (ICE) is likely to be a common sight on our roads until at least the mid-2050s.

So petrol / diesel is not dead… Not yet, at least.

Another point I feel I should raise is that I am (at the time of writing) 38 years old and I’ll be honest, I’m only just beginning to accept that I’m no longer in my 20s… In 2040 I will be 61. Lets move along a bit and look at the average scrapping age, assuming 2054 (because, why not?) and I’ll be 75. That’s a long way off… from my current perspective.

So for me, petrol / diesel is not dead, or at least it wont be until I’m not working and can spend my time reminiscing about ‘the good old days’… but even then, I think there will still be some places selling fuel for good old ICE petrol heads, it’ll be a nostalgia thing by then, but it’ll still be there.

But… (and this is a big one)…

I won’t be using them.

I love petrol power. The throb of a V6, the growl of a V8, the rumble of a V12 – there’s nothing like it. But at the same time, I loved the first time I ever sat in and drove a Tesla. The power, the torque, the lack of lag and the constant and exhilarating surge of acceleration until you run out of nerve – there’s little to compare. And you can take the wife and kids in comfort, and have two boots!

I’m due to be back in a Tesla next week and I cannot wait. It’s been too long since my last experience with the brand and I’m longing to re-familiarise myself with it. I have little doubt that I will own, hopefully in the next five years, a Tesla Model 3 and when I am picking that up, I will not be lamenting the loss of the ICE.

I will still be a petrol head, but I will be having too much time enjoying my Tesla to be overly concerned.

And to those suggesting it’s not viable to make the move to EVs, they already have a real-life range of up to 300 miles, with a charge time of less than an hour on a supercharger, and how often do you travel more than 300 miles in a single stint without wanting to stop for a meal and to stretch your legs? Not that often.

I’ll grant you it happens, but it’s rare, and with the range of EVs getting better year-on-year, I think the day of the EV as a common sight is not as far away as some may think.

Also, aside from Tesla, look at Renault… the Zoe model is a useable, every-day electric vehicle with a decent enough range of up to a couple of hundred miles, and with the French manufacturer’s battery rental set-up, the anticipated issues with batteries losing power until they are replaced is potentially less of an issue.

So, long story short, petrol will be around for a while yet, and I can’t wait to own an electric vehicle.

Petrol is dead*, long live petrol!

*Except it isn’t really.

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