Richard Hammond makes feelings clear on electric vehicles and predicts most cars will be petrol by 2050

Richard Hammond makes feelings clear on electric vehicles and predicts most cars will be petrol by 2050

WATCH: Hammond's latest 'exciting' project involving James May following Grand Tour exit

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 14/04/2024

- 08:53

Updated: 15/04/2024

- 09:42

Hammond suggested that synthetic fuels could be a major reason for keeping ICE vehicles on the road

Richard Hammond has predicted that the majority of cars will be petrol by 2050, despite plans to massively expand electric vehicle sales in the coming years.

The former Top Gear host is one of the most well-known automotive experts and has frequently given his opinion on the future of vehicles.

In a recent interview, the 54-year-old predicted that most vehicles seen on the road will still be petrol, even 25 years in the future.

From 2035, the Government will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in order to slash emissions and move towards the 2050 goal of becoming net zero.

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Electric car charger and Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond predicted that the majority of cars on the road would be petrol by 2050


The target was previously five years earlier until last September when Rishi Sunak rowed back a number of environmental pledges, including the car ban.

In the speech, the Prime Minister praised the efforts being made to support the electric vehicle industry, adding that a new EV is registered every 60 seconds.

However, he lamented the high upfront prices, uncertainty for businesses and concerns around a lack of electric vehicle chargers as a reason for delaying the deadline by five years.

Richard Hammond has now spoken out about the car ban and what kind of vehicles people will be driving in the next decades.

He explained: "EVs will be part of the picture, of course they are.

"But at the current rate of electrification, even if we could keep it up – which we can’t because China is withholding the rare earth minerals we need – by 2050 the majority of cars on the road will still be, and have to be, internal combustion engines.

"So we have to solve that, and synthetic fuels will be the way,” he told The Telegraph.

Chinese manufacturers are making headway in the UK and across established markets in Europe and North America with cheaper upfront costs and impressive battery ranges.

Similarly, there have been a number of calls for major vehicle brands to launch research into synthetic fuels to ensure petrol and diesel drivers can cut their emissions if they do not want to switch to an EV yet.

Hammond continued, saying: "The biggest financial decision we make as individuals, with a bearing on the carbon future, is the car.

"And people might end up buying electric cars that simply don’t work in their application, or not buying one when they’d be perfect. But we’re not properly informed.

"There is a need now for a show which goes, ‘Look, you need to get about, how you do that is an important decision, so here’s the stuff you need to know.’ Somebody should be doing that."


Hammond, Clarkson and May

Hammond, Clarkson and May unveiled the latest Grand Tour special earlier this year


The motoring expert, who hosts a podcast with his 23-year-old daughter Izzy, recently concluded the final series of The Grand Tour with long-term collaborators Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

There have been suggestions that The Grand Tour could be launched with a new cast, while Top Gear has been shelved "for the foreseeable future".

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