Electric cars will quickly become the norm in Britain, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps predicted when giving evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee.
Shapps took advantage of the Government’s plug-in car grant scheme to buy an electric car himself. “I drive an electric car and I think that within a very short period of time most people will,” he told MPs.
“As I got off the train at Westminster someone coming up the escalator said to me, ‘Mr Shapps, is it true that you have just got an electric car? How are you finding it? I have been thinking about it. My car is getting old. Is there any disadvantage?’
“I thought about this and said, ‘Absolutely no disadvantage at all.’”
Shapps hinted that he would bring forward the date for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035. “There is a strong argument to bring that [2040 date] forward. If we do not, I fear that we will not make the 2050 outcomes that we are trying to achieve.”
He thought hydrogen was the fuel of the future for heavy vehicles. “Hydrogen and the hydrogen fuel cells are probably not as good for cars. That is my sense, anyway. I think electric has the lead [for cars]. On heavy things like trains or buses, hydrogen could play a very important part.”
The Government last week announced that it is to prepare a transport decarbonisation plan.
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