THE 1989 film Back to the Future Part II predicted how a futuristic world, namely 2015, would look, which included flying cars, self-tying shoes and hoverboards.

Although the film’s vision for the future hasn’t yet been fulfilled, the emergence of electric cars over the past decade has identified significant change in the future of transport.

Last week, the Government announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK will be brought forward to 2035.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that 97 per cent, or 30.8 million, of cars licensed in Great Britain as of 2018 are powered by either petrol or diesel.

In contrast, 527,200 of the total were hybrid cars or plug-in hybrid cars and 64,900 were electric only.

The Government announcement also means that hybrid vehicles will also be banned from sale with only hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles would be exempt.

Climate concious Humshaugh resident Herbie Newell took the electric car plunge 15 months ago and hasn’t looked back since.

“I chose to get an electric car because of my concerns with the climate emergency and the need to reduce our carbon footprints,” he explained.

“A car in a rural area is a necessary tool for social and work reasons. I recognised there was a need to change.”

There are no current plans to force people out of their older petrol and diesel cars and into electric versions. However, given that bans on petrol and diesel vehicles in city centres are being implemented throughout the UK, it is likely that it will become harder to drive these cars without issue.

Herbie currently drives a Renault Zoe, one of the many electric cars now on the market, but he said electric car users don’t have the luxury of a quick and easy fuel top-up at the pump.

“The main difference to petrol or diesel cars that people are aware of is that the range on a full charge is not as far,” Herbie said.

Analysis from the Next Green Car website states electric cars typically cost up to £13,000 more than petrol cars, but annual fuel costs are significantly lower.

Herbie added: “To recharge the battery it takes about 45 minutes on a fast charge compared to five minutes at the pump.

“If you have a charging point at home then it can be six to eight hours, but if you don't have off road parking, which we don’t, then you can't have a charge point connected to your house.

“Thanks to Humshaugh Community Ventures, the backing of the parish council and village shop, there’s a charging point in the village.”

In Tynedale, the Hexham Hospital and Wentworth Leisure Centre car park’s currently hold the highest amount of charging points in the district. with an overall total of 51 in the district, according to electrical charging point website ZapMap.

When visiting Hexham, Herbie said he parks his car in the Wentworth Car Park. “The chargers at Wentworth get used, but I have never personally struggled to find a space.

“As more cars are sold though, it’s going to be mission critical for the government to get more charging points. The government really need to act now.”

A Government-funded £3,500 subsidy scheme for buyers of plug-in cars expires at the end of March and industry members fear that it will be scrapped.

“That is completely unacceptable in this time of a climate emergency,” Herbie said.