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The next decade could see biggest evolution in motoring since the car was invented - these are five things you should expect to see

We outline how electric cars will be mainstream by 2030 - and diesel could dieWill passenger vehicles be fully autonomous in the next 10 years? We discussBrands as we know them will continue to exist, but as part of mega motor firms Traditional car ownership could move from financing to vehicle sharing

The next ten years will be the most progressive for the automobile, arguably since the Ford Model T arrived in 1908.

Undoubtedly the biggest shift for the sector will be from the internal combustion engine to battery-electric power.

However, there will be other changes to how we own and use the next-generation of cars as well as their impact on the environment, our travel times and the architecture of our streets.

This is Money has picked five developments that will transform the four-wheel world between now and 2030, weighing up the pros and cons of how each might affect drivers.

The next decade could see biggest evolution in motoring since the car was invented - these are five things you should expect to see

A decade of evolution: This is Money has highlighted the five biggest changes motorists should expect to witness in the world of four wheels between 2020 and 2030

1. Electric cars WILL be mainstream

...which great for the environment, but not so much for petrolheads

There's no better place to start than the obvious - the rise of electric vehicles over the next decade.

With the sale of cars with petrol and diesel engines due to be prohibited in the UK from 2040 (though don't be overly surprised if this is reduced by a half or even a full decade), demand for EVs has no other way to go than up.

The Government - currently - has ambitions for electric cars to make up between 50 and 70 per cent of all new models sold in 2030, as it looks to schedule ahead to the phase-out of the internal combustion engine.

And to make this happen, manufacturers will supply the world's drivers with a bevy of new models in the next decade. 

Volkswagen Group alone has set itself the target of launching 70 different electric cars in the next decade across its various brands, including Audi, Skoda, Seat, Porsche and more.  

The German auto giant estimates that it will shift around 22million fully-electric vehicles between 2020 and 2030, with the first of these being the ID.3 hatchback being brought to market in a matter of months. 

And VW isn't the only brand going on a zero-emission assault.

Electric vehicles will be mainstream by 2030, and they should be far more advanced than the models on the market now

Volvo believes half of the vehicles it sells by 2025 will be electric, BMW says it will have a dozen new electric models by 2023 (including the Mini Electric) and Ford will expand its range of pure EVs to 16 in 2022. 

Every brand has laid out big plans for electric car development, which will significantly change the models motorists will be shopping for in the next decade. 

And this will have a huge impact on our streets as well as driveways. 

To cope with the increasing market share of electric cars, the infrastructure of public chargers being ramped up, with some help from the Government's £400million fund to expand the charger network.

The installation of thousands more plug-in points will ultimately have a drastic impact on the way our streets looks. But there could be answers with designs that are harmonious with our existing roads.

We've already seen some ingenious ways companies have worked around the concept of not adding to existing road furniture, from adapting street lights into plug-in points to chargers that sink into the ground. 

PROS: Electric cars on sale in the next 10 years will progressively feature more performance, longer ranges and - in an ideal world - more affordable prices as battery technology advances with a whole industry behind it. 

This will make electric cars more practical and therefore a viable option for the majority of motorists. 

CONS: The extinction of the internal combustion engine could spell the end for powertrain characteristics, fundamentally making cars of the future more samey to drive.

No longer will customers need to decide on fuel type, cylinder counts, turbocharging and so forth. Instead, performance will be almost identikit (though still very rapid) and soundtracks monotone, no matter which brand you buy. 

For many non-enthusiasts who want a car simply to get them from A to Z, this won't be an issue. For petrolheads, the market could be less interesting. 

Vehicle automation is - along with electric car development - one of the biggest focuses for auto makers in the next decade

2. Self-driving technology to ramp up 

...but don't expect full autonomy just yet

The second biggest leap in terms of four-wheel development between 2020 and 2030 will be self-driving tech.

Trials are well underway around the world, with the UK taking a leading role in the progression of these systems.

But while there will undoubtedly be increasing levels of automation available in new cars by 2030, experts doubt level 5 - which designates 'full self-driving under all conditions - will be available to market by the turn of the next decade.

A survey of more than 100 auto and tech experts conducted by JD Power earlier this year found that most were of the consensus that it will be at least 12 years before fully autonomous vehicles are being sold to private buyers.

By 2034, they predicted that autonomous cars will make up just one in ten of all vehicles on the market in the next decade. 

But that doesn't mean there won't be driverless vehicles on the road before 2030. 

The same industry insiders said robotaxis will be available for public use by 2025. 

While self-driving technology will be more readily available in passenger cars, experts say full autonomy won't be here before 2030

PROS: Traffic levels shouldn't be that interrupted by a road network made up of a combination of human- and computer-driven vehicles.

A Department for Transport study in 2017 predicted that the arrival of autonomous cars on UK roads could increase congestion for several years rather than reduce the number of jams. 

In fact, it won't be until 50 to 75 per cent of all vehicles are driverless that congestion significantly improves, it said.

CONS: Expect plenty of confusion in regards to the the level of automation new models might have but also how the industry responds to the introduction of self-driving technology.

For instance, there are still hurdles to clear regarding insurance and who is at fault when a collision involves an autonomous vehicle, and it's a debate that's likely to roll on through the decade. 

The recent merger of automotive giants PSA Groupe (which owns Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Vauxhall) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be replicated by other brands struggling to keep pace with developing electric and autonomous tech 

3. Car makers becoming mega brands

...but there will be fewer of them

While the industry is going through a spell of rapid evolution, it's also trying to juggle this while undergoing a period of survival.

With demand for new models dipping in the last few years, plenty of manufacturers are feeling the brunt of fewer orders and dipping profits.

And this couldn't have come at a worse time for the sector, with brands in the midst of trying to pump as much funding into the development of electric and autonomous technology to not lose pace against their biggest rivals.

What we've seen already as a result of this is struggling manufacturers clubbing together to spread the cost of enhancing their technology and managing the dip in their biggest revenue stream - sales.

The latest merger between the Peugeot and Citroen owners PSA and the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is evidence of this, as was the acquisition of Vauxhall by PSA from General Motors a year ago. 

More examples could follow in the next decade. 

PROS: The brands we know are likely to survive into the future, meaning drivers who are loyal to manufacturers can retain their allegiances.

CONS: There's potential for an ever increasing lack of identity as car makers consolidate into mega firms and their models share design, manufacturing lines, tech and mechanical components. 

Diesel looks set to be killed off as manufacturers end the development of engines in favour of R&D into battery technology

4. Diesel will almost certainly die

...but petrol should live on 

The reputation of diesel has gone down rapidly in the last decade.

It started the 2010s as the promoted fuel type, with taxation centred around diesel's low CO2 outputs. 

But it has closed the decade as a swearword that's caused fury among Greenpeace and other eco-activists. 

The 'd' word has been masked in controversy since the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal in 2015, which has done immense damage to the industry in the last five years and resulted in a number of decisions around the restriction of their use.

London and Bristol, for example, already have plans in place to ban all diesel vehicles from parts of their city centres from 2020 and restrictions are expected across other European nations - and the onslaught on the fuel type is only going to increase throughout the next 10 years.

Car makers know it and are quickly pulling their development of oil-burning engines and plugging the resources into battery technology.

For instance, Nissan this month confirmed that the next-generation Qashqai - which has been the UK's most-bought SUV since it arrived almost 15 years ago - will not be sold with a diesel engine, despite it historically being its most popular fuel type.

But while diesel numbers will ultimately deplete, petrol is likely to take up some of the slack as sales look set to be spread across unleaded, hybrid and battery-powered vehicles for the next 10 years.

PROS: If ministers and environmental groups are to be believed, the decline of diesel and harmful emissions linked to the fuel type will mean fewer premature deaths around the world.

CONS: With the latest Euro 6 emissions diesel engines being as clean as - and in many cases cleaner than - the current petrol powertrains on the market, the fuel type will be forced off the market sooner than some would like.

High-mileage drivers will miss out most, having depended on diesel powerplants for the best fuel economy and lowest running costs for years.

Car sharing platforms could replace traditional ownership, according to some studies

5. We won't own nearly as many cars

...so our motoring costs should - in theory - fall 

The traditional ownership model of vehicles looks set to go through another transformation in the next decade.

In the past 10 years we have seen a shift from consumers owning their motors outright to the majority of new - and many used - cars financed or leased. And that is a concept that will continue to develop into new areas as we move towards 2030, some have predicted.

One US report has claimed that ownership of vehicles in America will fall by 80 per cent by 2030, with the number of privately-owned passenger cars falling from 247 million to 44 million in the country.

This is because more will use ride hailing services, car sharing platforms and autonomous taxis.

It means transportation costs for most will decline significantly. So much so that annual disposable income for US households will total around $1 trillion by the end of the decade, the research estimated.

There's every likelihood that the same pattern could happen in the UK, as drivers become increasingly incentivised by ministers to use vehicles less. 

PROS: It could mean cheaper motoring costs as drivers will no longer need to fork out on personal vehicle taxation, insurance, fuel bills, servicing and maintenance costs and other financial strains that come with car ownership. 

CONS: Practicality of having a car at your disposal at all times could take a small hit, especially if you're heavily reliant on a vehicle for daily chores and commuting and the public transport network isn't sufficient in your area. 


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