Ben Mercer, e-commerce manager at Leisure Lakes Bikes asks will the rise in climate-conscious campaigning or the petrol shortage encourage you to switch sooner? 

It has been widely publicised that the United Kingdom is experiencing a shortage of HGV Drivers. Due to expensive training, COVID-19, and Brexit, the lorry industry finds itself short of more than 100,000 drivers. The knock-on effect has been severed supply chains for several sectors, including gas and oil. Recently, as a result, this caused the closure of some petrol stations along with a reduction in the distribution of fuel by companies such as BP and Tesco. 

This amounted to a nationwide fuel frenzy, and the public panic-buying petrol. Even the best of us were queuing for hours and filling our tanks to the brim.  

Despite the blind panic, this is not the first time the nation has experienced a fuel shortage. In fact, the last petrol deficit occurred in 2012. Unite the Union – who represented around 2,000 drivers – warned the government of a strike due to poor health and safety standards for workers. Rather than assure the UK, energy secretary Ed Davey suggested that the public “do the sensible thing” and “get a full tank of petrol”. 

In hindsight, this wasn’t a good move, and it is not the advice now. But one other thing differentiates 2021 from 2012: the public now has access to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are a revelation. They can come in the form of cars, bikes, and even scooters. With the rise in climate-conscious campaigning and the repetitive issues of petrol, more and more people are realising sustainable travel is the way forward.  

Investment in the charging infrastructure  

The demand for electric vehicles is growing. Many retailers, including Auto Trader, have reported a huge spike in the sales of electric means of transportation. This has corresponded with the shortage of petrol and the culminating fuel crisis.  

With the surge in demand, electric vehicles are becoming more accessible for the public. Local councils already started to invest in charging infrastructure across the country. As a result, electric technology will become ever more popular, accessible, and cheaper for the public. And this applies to both electric cars and electric bikes. The surge in bike sales has sparked the development of dedicated charging stations.  

Becoming more accessible 

Electric cars are the future for climate-conscious drivers. In fact, electric cars may be the future for all drivers, as the UK government pledges to ban all carbon dioxide-emitting cars by 2050. With research showing that electric cars are considerably better for the environment, producing absolutely no carbon emissions – what could be better? In one year, a single electric car can save up to 1.5 million grams of carbon dioxide. That is a huge contribution to combatting global warming. 

Moreover, the upkeep of electric cars is much cheaper. As of 1st October 2021, the average price to fill a 55-litre non-electric car (more specifically, a Ford Focus) is £75.23. In comparison, the average price to fully charge an electric car is anywhere between £6.64–£13.21. That’s £0.044–£0.053 per mile!  

The average price of a non-electric car is anywhere between £12,000-£36,000. In comparison, the average price for an electric car is anywhere between £17,350-£138,826. That’s a big difference. But don’t panic – the longer electric cars are in production, the cheaper they will be.  

Unsurprisingly, the interest in electric cars has peaked amid the current petrol shortage. Google Trends reports that searches related to electric cars significantly increased.  

If the petrol shortage has convinced you to switch to electric, consider investing in an electric bike. With their many alluring qualities, they allow riders to travel with ease, great for tackling uphill climbs or for quicker commutes to work and are extremely helpful for people suffering from asthma or knee problems.  

Furthermore, electric bikes are relatively cheap to charge, with the average price to charge an electric bike being anywhere between 5–10p, based on an electricity tariff of £0.149p/kWh and a 36V battery. Yes, you read that right. And this can take you anywhere between 25–100 miles! With a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, they will also let you get to your destination fast while avoiding any traffic jams during peak hours! 

The future is electric. With the pledge to make all cars carbon neutral by 2050, it seems that more people will be switching to electric vehicles soon, regardless of the fuel shortage. When will you be making the switch to electric? 

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