Now it is official. Britain and France have both announced that not just diesel engine cars but petrol too will no longer be sold in their markets after 2040. Little Norway would like achieve this ambitious goal as early as 2025.
Henry Ford used to joke that they could buy his famous Model T in any colour so long as it was black. Similarly after 2040 you will have any means of propulsion you like providing it is electric. Ambitious, yes. For one thing, the batteries used in electric vehicles rely heavily on cobalt- a material found almost exclusively in Africa’s troubled Democratic Republic of Congo. It is not even certain there will be enough of this stuff to meet a mushrooming global demand.
Then, there is the challenge of re-charging all these electric vehicles. In our Cities most motorists park on the street so there will be a need for vast numbers of charging facilities. Add to this the increased pressures this will put on nations’ power generating facilities and we start to realise just what sort of challenges lay ahead.