Do electric cars have a future in a shrinking economy?


Barry: The proposed ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars in the UK will be delayed until 2035. Bearing in mind that the shrinking economy will make electric vehicles (EVs) unaffordable, I asked ChatGPT to write a flippant piece about this.


Ah, brace yourselves, folks! The great petrol and diesel car ban in the UK has been given a time extension, like an essay deadline that just keeps getting pushed back. Originally, we were all supposed to be cruising around in electric vehicles by 2030, but now it’s been delayed until the distant land of 2035.

Why the delay, you ask? Well, apparently the economy has decided to go on a crash diet, shrinking faster than a wool sweater in a hot wash. And what’s the result? Electric vehicles, the supposed saviours of our planet, are looking more like luxury items than eco-friendly alternatives.

Imagine this: you’re strolling down the street, dreaming of the day you’ll own an electric car, when suddenly you see the price tag. It’s like finding out your dream vacation is to Mars – possible, but definitely not affordable.

Sure, the government wants us to believe that electric cars are the future. But if they keep pushing back the ban, it’s like saying, “Yeah, yeah, save the planet, but not at the expense of our wallets!”

So, here we are, twiddling our thumbs until 2035, hoping that by then, electric cars will be as cheap as a pack of gum. Until then, enjoy the fumes and the occasional guilt trip every time you fill up your gas-guzzler. After all, it’s not like we have much of a choice, right?

Barry:  More please on what people will do?


Ah, yes, the million-dollar question: What will the good people of the UK do now that the electric revolution seems more like a distant dream?

Well, for starters, we might see some creative solutions popping up faster than you can say, “Where’s the nearest charging station?” Picture this: DIY electric car conversion workshops becoming the new hotspots in town. People huddling around with wrenches and soldering irons, determined to turn their old clunkers into sleek, emission-free rides.

And let’s not forget about the rise of the electric bike. Who needs four wheels when you can zip around town on two? With petrol prices climbing faster than a mountain goat on Red Bull, more folks might be inclined to ditch the car altogether and embrace the pedal-powered lifestyle.

But for those die-hard petrolheads who can’t bear the thought of parting ways with their beloved engines, fear not! The underground black market for fossil fuels might just become the next big thing. Picture shady deals going down in dimly lit alleys, whispered conversations about “premium unleaded” and “imported diesel”. It’s like something out of a low-budget spy movie, except the stakes are…well, the same, really.

Of course, there’s always the option of sticking it to the man and refusing to conform to the electric craze. Who needs government mandates anyway? Just imagine a rebellious band of petrol-powered rebels roaring down the streets, their engines singing the sweet song of defiance.

So, while the future of transportation in the UK might be uncertain, one thing’s for sure: when it comes to innovation, creativity, and downright stubbornness, the British spirit will always find a way.

Barry: What about the resurgence of push bikes?


Ah, yes, the humble push bike – the unsung hero of urban transportation, poised to make a triumphant comeback in the wake of the delayed electric car revolution.

With the looming uncertainty of petrol prices and the daunting prospect of electric vehicles becoming more of a luxury than a practical choice, the trusty bicycle emerges from the shadows, ready to reclaim its rightful place on the streets.

Picture this: a sea of cyclists weaving through traffic with the grace of ballerinas, their wheels spinning like the gears of progress itself. Suddenly, the daily commute transforms from a mind-numbing slog to a refreshing burst of exercise and freedom.

And let’s not forget the environmental perks. With zero emissions and a carbon footprint so small you’d need a microscope to see it, bikes become the eco-warrior’s weapon of choice in the battle against pollution.

But it’s not just about saving the planet; it’s about saving your sanity too. No more gridlock-induced headaches or soul-crushing searches for parking spots. Just you, your bike, and the open road (or bike lane, preferably).

Plus, with advancements in bike technology making two-wheeled travel smoother and more efficient than ever, riding a bike isn’t just a mode of transportation – it’s a lifestyle statement. From sleek urban commuters to rugged mountain bikes built for adventure, there’s a pedal-powered steed for every rider, no matter their style or terrain.

So, as the electric car dream gets postponed yet again, it’s time to dust off that old bike, pump up those tires, and embrace the resurgence of pedal power. After all, who needs fancy cars when you’ve got two wheels and a whole lot of determination?

Barry: What about old people?


Ah, the seasoned citizens of our society, the ones who’ve seen it all and then some. What’s their role in this brave new world of delayed electric car bans and resurgent pushbikes?

Well, let’s not count them out just yet. While some might scoff at the idea of trading in their comfy sedan for a sleek electric ride or powering through the streets on a shiny new bike, others might surprise you with their adaptability.

For some older folks, the idea of ditching the car might be a tough pill to swallow. After all, it’s been their trusty companion for decades, ferrying them to bingo nights, tea with friends, and the occasional trip to the seaside.

But fear not, for where there’s a will, there’s a way. With community initiatives popping up left and right, offering everything from free bike lessons to electric car sharing programs, older folks might find themselves embracing the winds of change sooner than expected.

And let’s not forget about the power of nostalgia. For those who remember the days of penny-farthings and velocipedes, hopping on a bike might feel like a trip down memory lane. Who needs fancy gadgets and gizmos when you’ve got the simple joy of pedalling beneath you?

Plus, with electric bikes becoming more popular than ever, older folks can enjoy the benefits of cycling without breaking a sweat. It’s like having your cake and eating it too – or in this case, having your exercise and cruising in comfort.

So, while the road ahead might be uncertain, one thing’s for sure: age ain’t nothing but a number, and when it comes to embracing change, the older generation might just surprise us all.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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