'Millions' of electric cars needed

More than six million electric vehicles (EVs) will be needed on UK roads over the next 20 years to help the country meet its carbon emissions goals, according to WWF-UK.

The environment organisation said that nearly 1.7 million EVs will be required on the roads by 2020 and 6.4 million by 2030 if carbon emissions are to be reduced by the set target of 80% by 2050.

According to the group, while the Government has introduced a 25%, or up to £5,000, grant for EVs, further subsidies and incentives are needed to make the vehicles less expensive and encourage more motorists to buy them.

It estimates that in order to achieve the targets, a minimum of one in 17 cars on the road by 2020 will need to be EVs and one in six by 2030.

In a recent report, WWF-UK said the highest levels of EV uptake would lead to very significant reductions in UK fuel demand, representing over £5 billion a year in avoided oil imports.

Also in the highest case scenario, the combination of extensive EV uptake, driving less and improving internal combustion engine vehicles could potentially reduce UK fuel demand by 80% and deliver a 75% reduction in car emissions by 2030.

David Norman, campaigns director, WWF-UK, said: "It is vital that people start consuming and travelling less to make a transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce our dependency on oil and emissions from cars.

"Road transport accounts for 40% of petroleum products consumed in the UK so a switch from conventional cars powered by petrol or diesel to EVs would have a much-needed impact on reducing fuel demand."

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