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Mike Waters' blog: 13 September 2013 - Glimpse into the future

Date: 13 September 2013

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at leasing and fleet management company Arval

People occasionally ask me what our roads will look like in the years to come. What kind of vehicles will be travelling on them, what technology will they employ, and what will be fuelling them?

Now I can't answer exactly what vehicles will look like, or comment on technology that doesn't exist today, that will be the job of the manufacturers. But what I can say with a level of certainty is that whatever they look like, vehicles will be efficient!

Petrol and diesel fuelled cars and vans will have a huge role to play in the years to come due to improvements in efficiency, combined with the level of practicality that they provide. However, if we start to look 20 or 30 years ahead, the landscape is likely to be different.

You only need to look at the latest proposals from the Liberal Democrats, which state that only ultra-low carbon cars and vans should be allowed to use the UK's roads from 2040.

HGV's aside, this would mean only hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a smattering of the most efficient petrol or diesel models.

If you take time to look at the speed of development we are currently seeing from the manufacturers, this is by no means unrealistic.

We know from SMMT figures that between the year 2000 and 2012 there was a 26.5% reduction in average new car CO2 emissions. Multiply that performance over a couple of decades and it is certain that a great deal will have changed.

I don't think the future of motoring is going to be quite like the films, where your vehicles hover around in the sky, but what you should expect is a great deal of new technology influencing the fuel that powers them and the way that they drive.

Of course any change will be a gradual one, but one thing is for certain, change is going to happen.