Are cars really going to disappear?

Where are all of these cars going to go? Will people have money to replace them with brand-new electric-only vehicles? A car like the Hyundai Ioniq Electric starts at £30,000, or just under $40,000. Drivers can expect to get only about 150 miles out of it per charge. These cars will have to get substantially cheaper, either because automakers will be able to manufacture them for significantly less or thanks to a government subsidy. It will probably take both.

It is also entirely unclear what exceptions might be made for farming equipment and other high-performance vehicles that do not have capable electric-only equivalents. If a farmer buys a tractor, will it have to go down Her Majesty’s highways to his fields under heavy military escort? What about automobile racing? What about the substantial number of people who just happen to like driving fast powerful cool-looking machines? Clearly there are plenty of things that need to be ironed out.

The year 2040 might sound like a long way off, but 23 years ago it was 1994, when Kurt Cobain died and Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress and Al Cowlings drove O.J. Simpson around in a (gas-powered) Ford Bronco. Twenty-three years is really not that far away.