Andy Palmer thinks motorists need to learn more about electric cars with the 2030 petrol and diesel new car ban looming on the horizon
Over a decade ago, when I began developing what became the world’s first mass-market electric car, the Nissan Leaf, it was considered an oddity. EVs back then were treated with scepticism and intrigue in equal measure. Why? Largely because the understanding of what they were, how they were made and how they benefit motorists (and the planet) was non-existent. In fact, one rival auto exec said I was crazy for pioneering an electric vehicle and I may as well have taken the cash invested in it and chucked it into the Pacific. Thankfully, I didn’t take his advice.
Today, we are a better-informed audience. But by how much? There are around 395,000 battery electric vehicles on UK roads right now. That’s certainly a lot more than when I first began work on the Leaf, but compared to the 32.7 million total passenger cars on the road, it still barely registers. I have no doubt that’ll change and that in the near future, there will be more EVs than combustion engine vehicles. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes. But to get to that point and for the market to truly mature, we need an informed audience of motorists.