Electric vehicles branded 'unaffordable' as Duke slams 2030 car ban delay for sending 'terrible message'

electric charger and image of Duke of Richmond

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon said the Government needed to do more for EVs

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 14/03/2024

- 10:25

'The simple fact is that electric cars are unaffordable!'

The lack of support for electric vehicles in the Budget announcement is sending “a terrible message” to the public who are being urged to make the switch but offered few incentives.

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon has remarked that the Government’s decision to not support the EV journey in last week’s Budget along with the delayed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 was “very disappointing”.

Duke Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, who founded the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival, warned that the Government risks failing in its mission to support the transition to electric.

He said that while there may be a reason for Rishi Sunak's back-tracking on the 2030 car ban, the Government has asked the motor industry to take all the pain.

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electric charging station

Dacia unveiled that one of the cheapest EVs priced at £15,000 will be coming in October


He added: “For the customer, it’s like is electrification really serious?

“To create a situation where pretty much the biggest industry is having to do something that’s so challenging without any support, and also not to have the infrastructure around it, is not acceptable.

“The simple fact is that electric cars are unaffordable – they’re just not affordable for most people,” he told the PA news agency.

The Duke expressed his concerns that families are not being helped to switch to electric cars and that the Government should be doing more to support car buyers.

While more car brands are rolling out more electric cars, the price of them still remains too high for the public to make the switch.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said that while electric vehicle sales grew last year, this was due to tax rules favouring company and fleet drivers and that more effort is needed to attract the public.

He commented that it will be interesting to see if incentives can be reintroduced to tempt more private buyers to go electric in 2024, particularly in light of the new ZEV mandate.

Most recently Dacia unveiled that one of the cheapest EVs priced at £15,000 will be coming to the UK in October and is expected to make a positive impact.

Elsewhere, Chinese-owned Seres added its EV to the UK market with prices starting for the 3 SUV model at £29,995.

With a price tag of under £30,000, the Chinese vehicle will be one of the cheapest electric SUVs on the market.

The Duke explained that he believes the future of motoring and motorsport is a combination of different power sources such as hydrogen and sustainable fuels, and not exclusively electric.

The push for more EVs was originally instigated by the Government which has set ambitious targets to have 80 per cent of new cars and 70 per cent of new vans sold in the UK have zero emission by 2030, increasing to 100 per cent by 2035.



The UK installed its 50,000th charger last year


There have also been calls for the Government to speed up the rollout of EV charging stations across the UK to give people the confidence to switch.

According to Zapmap, there are 57,290 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, as of the end of February 2024.

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