As Elon Musk gives the big-selling Tesla Model 3 a refresh, get ready for electric motoring with our EV highlights

Electric cars are growing in popularity and it won't be long before we're all driving them - even if the government has delayed the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035

Elon Musk's brainchild, the Tesla Model 3, has put EVs at the top of the sales charts and helped change attitudes to electric cars
William Scholes

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has pulled the plug on the British government's pledge to ban the sale of new cars powered solely by petrol or diesel engines by 2030.

Instead, he has pushed the date back by five years. Among the reasons for the change, widely seen by critics as a backwards step on the road to a net zero future, are the lack of charging infrastructure and the cost of new electric vehicles, or EVs.

Read more: Tesla Model 3 gets even more range and sleeker looks as Elon Musk updates his best-selling EV

However, the change of date is unlikely to have any real effect on the car industry's transition from internal combustion engines to battery power, which manufacturers are already firmly committed to.

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It's possible it may prolong the lifespan of a handful of outgoing petrol and diesel cars but in practice, almost all will have disappeared from showrooms by 2030.



Between now and then, they will be steadily made obsolete by a mix of pure electric cars and hybrids, which can run on electric as well as through using a conventional engine. Hybrids were always going to be banned from 2035, and Mr Sunak hasn't changed that date.

The prime minister's announcement, then, is a bit of a red herring and best seen in the context of a tired Conservative government seeking to open up a new front on net zero ahead of the next general election.

BMW has announced plans to invest £600 million to prepare its Mini factory in Oxford to build new electric cars after securing government funding


In parallel to pushing back the internal combustion ban, the government appears to still be committed to its zero emission vehicle (ZEV) targets. These propose that by 2024, at least 22 per cent of the new cars sold will be zero emissions i.e. electric. For context, the UK market is already on target to see EVs reach around 18 per cent share by the end of this year.

The proposed targets increase to 80 per cent by 2030, hitting the 100 per cent mark in 2035. The five-year reprieve for ICE cars won't make a lot of difference to that. Under the original plan, plug-in hybrids were going to be the only cars with petrol or diesel still on sale after 2030 and it seems more likely than not that will remain the case.

Interested in an electric car? Here are 10 EV stories to help you get ready for the move to electric…

1. Honda e: If the cutesy little EV's paltry range doesn't put you off, its price probably will

The Honda e is hyper-manoeuvrable and beautifully built... but it's also small, expensive and doesn't go that far


2. Feline great: The ORA Funky Cat is a cute electric hatchback

The ORA Funky Cat turns heads


3. Ford Explorer: New electric made-in-Europe America-flavoured family SUV ready for adventure

The Explorer is the first of a new wave of EVs that will be steeped in Ford's American roots while also being designed for Europe - with some help from Volkswagen...


4. Forget Tesla - here are three 'eco-mods' which turn classics into EVs

Has electric ever looked more elegant? The upcycled Bentley S2 Continental by Lunaz


5. Iron Man goes zero emission as Robert Downey Jr 'eco-mods' his classic cars into EVs

We are what we drive, says Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr, who has made a TV series charting his journey as he transforms his classic car collection of gas guzzlers into environmentally friendly 'eco-mods'


6. Volvo's new EX30 is its smallest electric SUV - and most rapid vehicle ever

Although more sedate versions are available, the Volvo EX30 is available with all-wheel-drive and dual electric motors producing a beefy 428hp and a 0-60 time of just 3.4 seconds


7. A classic electric Mini adventure

Electrogenic describes its electric conversion of classic Mini as 'plug and play'


8. Electrified Range Rover classic gets Tesla drivetrain, 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds and £225k price tag

Inverted's electrified Range Rover gets a range of 200 miles and hot hatch performance


9. Polestar 4 is a cool electric SUV coupe - with no back window and a camera instead of a rear-view mirror

Windows update - Polestar has ditched the back window for its latest model to allow the glass roof to sweep back further


10. Mini Electric Convertible: Sky's the limit for latest zero emission Mini - though it costs more than £52,000...

You can have the Mini Electric Convertible in any colour you like as long as it's black (or white)