2020 already looks to be shaping up to be a landmark year for the electric car revolution. This week, we round up some of the hottest news from the industry, including the incredible rise of the Tesla Model 3, New wireless charging technology, Birmingham's plans to scrap private cars and a look back at an incredible 2019 for the EV market.
Record-breaking year for EVs in 2019
2019 was a breakthrough year for EV growth, with record-breaking statistics released from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) capping off a highly successful 12 months for the electric revolution.
EV sales rose by a staggering 144% year on year, the largest growth period on record, and the outlying stat in a relatively cautious year for the new car market.
EVs and PHEVs now represent just over 6% of the entire car market, which is the largest share in their short history and looks set to only increase into 2020 and beyond, with a slew of electric models arriving from some of the largest manufacturers including the Honda E, Corsa-E and the Volkswagen iD.
Model 3 continues record-breaking charge
The remarkable success of the Tesla Model 3 knows no bounds. The flagship model in the Tesla stable is set to eclipse the current best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, by the end of Q1 2020. With sales of the Model 3 estimated at around 448,000 the Model 3 is breathing down the neck of the Leaf, which hit a 400,000 milestone of its own back in March of last year.
Sales figures and continuing high demand suggests the Model 3 will ease past the Leaf in the coming year and could well be the first electric car to return over 500,000 sales.
Second City to cut cars? Birmingham announces landmark proposal
In a report published in the BBC, private cars could be cut from Birmingham City centre as the local council aims to reduce pollution in the UKs second city.
The transport plan, released to the official council website early last week, highlights that 900 premature deaths per-year are directly linked to pollution and that 80% of the citys NO2 emissions are caused by cars and road transport.
The scheme, which could be rolled out as soon as 2021 if plans are approved, is part of the citys long-term goal to become Carbon Neutral by 2030.
Birmingham is regarded as one of the worst offenders in the UK for pollution and has already taken steps to tackle poor air quality, by introducing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will charge drivers of older, polluting cars £8 to travel in the city centre.
The universal ban on cars in Birmingham would allow motorists to drive into the city, but would mean all cars would have to leave via the ring around to access other areas of the city. Key areas would be pedestrianised and greater incentives put in in place for cycling and public transport to encourage the public to back the proposals.
Honda to create new 'Legend' self-driving car
Honda continues to remain at the forefront of technology, with a recent announcement on their new self-driving car. The Honda 'Legend', is loosely based on the 90s model of the same name, and has a touted price tag of more than £90,000. The vehicle will still require drivers to step in if encountering a difficult situation but will showcase the latest self-driving technology allowing drivers to take their hands off the wheel for longer than ever before.
The car is slated for release in summer 2021 and would be the first vehicle of its kind produced under the famous Honda badge.
Wireless EV charging lands in UK
Connected Kerb, one of the largest electric vehicle infrastructure companies has confirmed it will begin rolling out wireless charging technology in 2020.
The system, which will work via inductive pads beneath the ground, will allow EVs to charge completely wirelessly and is set to be trialled in Scotland, the Midlands and London.
The system will only pair with cars fitted with induction charging technology which at present, remains a very limited pool of models but could grow rapidly over the course of the year as the tech becomes more accessible.
The introduction of wireless charging would be one of the most significant shakeups to electric car charging in recent years and its flexibility could be seen as a major incentive to encourage more and more people to go electric.
Sources & References:
1. Record-breaking year for EVs in 2019. Data Source: SMMT 2019 Year-to-date statistics: https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/car-registrations/
2. Model 3 continues record-breaking charge. Data Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/3/21047233/tesla-2019-deliveries-q4-record-model-3-sales
3. Second City to cut cars? Birmingham announces landmark proposal . Data Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-51088499
4. Honda to create new 'Legend' self-driving car. Data Source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/honda-self-driving-car-technology-japan/
5. Wireless EV charging lands in UK. Data Source: https://www.theicon.org.uk/wireless-electric-vehicle-charging-comes-to-uk/