Branson: ‘All cars on road could be electric within 15 years’

Branson: ‘All cars on road could be electric within 15 years’
Cars fuelled by petrol and diesel could have become obsolete as soon as the early 2030s, Sir Richard Branson is forecasting.

If the right government policies are put in place, the entrepreneur says, every UK motorist could be driving an electric car within 15 years.

The Virgin boss voiced his views to CNN during the London EPrix that was staged in Battersea Park.

He says he believes the technological advances being made through Formula E motorsport will help accelerate a huge shift towards electric car usage.

READ MORE: Why Formula E is a more 'entertaining sport than Formula One'

And, he adds, if government policymakers were to set rules requiring half the nation’s cars to be electric within 10 years and all of them to be battery-powered within 15, then “we could make that happen”. 

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Formula E, Sir Richard says, is helping to drive technology forward and will eventually result in ordinary motorists being able to drive hundreds of miles without having to recharge their cars’ batteries.

Sir Richard’s DS Virgin Racing team has been taking part in the FIA Formula E Championship since it was launched in 2014.

While Battersea Park hosted the championship’s final races, Sir Richard says he believes allowing the cars to use street circuits in the capital and other major cities would help to further boost the future of electric motoring.

He has discussed the idea, he adds, during a “productive meeting” with the London Mayor’s office.

READ MORE: Electric cars set to outsell petrol and diesel models in next decade

Because the cars would produce no emissions, he adds, such a race could begin and finish in London’s O2 Arena or use iconic streets such as The Mall, Park Lane and Hyde Park Corner.

The next Formula E season starts in Hong Kong on October 9 with its fourteenth and final race taking place in New York next July.

According to the International Energy Agency, only 0.1% of the world’s cars were electric last year, but there are hopes that share could rise to 1.7% by the end of the decade.

And a recent report by Bloomberg predicted that electric cars could be cheaper than ones powered by fossil fuels by 2022.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.