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14th Apr 2024

Richard Hammond predicts majority of cars will still use petrol in 2050

Ryan Price

The former Top Gear star reckons the electric car industry isn’t growing as fast as everybody thought it would.

Richard Hammond has predicted that most cars will still use petrol over twenty five years from now, despite more and more electric models being introduced.

The broadcaster and motoring enthusiast believes that the electric car industry is being held back by China’s decision to retain vital minerals.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the 54-year-old said: “EVs (electronic vehicles) will be part of the picture, of course they are. But at the current rate of electrification, even if we could keep it up – which we can’t because China is withholding the rare earth minerals we need – by 2050 the majority of cars on the road will still be, and have to be, internal combustion engines.”

His comments came as he spoke about his new podcast, Who We Are Now, which he hosts alongside his daughter.

It launched in February and focuses on men, mental health, motor-racing and cancel culture.

In the opening episode, Hammond revealed that his 23-year-old daughter Izzy had racked up 13,000 miles during her first year of driving, given that she was reliant on her car for transport while living in the countryside.

He also claimed that there was a gap in the television industry for a show about self-driving and electric vehicles, as he believes the public aren’t well enough informed on the topic.

“The biggest financial decision we make as individuals, with a bearing on the carbon future, is the car,” he said.

“And people might end up buying electric cars that simply don’t work in their application, or not buying one when they’d be perfect. But we’re not properly informed.

“There is a need now for a show which goes, ‘Look, you need to get about, how you do that is an important decision, so here’s the stuff you need to know.’ Somebody should be doing that.”

Hammond co-hosted Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May from 2002 until 2015. The trio then hosted The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime until this year.

The Grand tour

In 2017, Hammond was knocked unconscious after hitting his head following a fall from a motorbike during filming for the second season of the Amazon Prime show.

He also made headlines in 2006 after suffering a life-threatening crash while driving a jet-powered car at 320mph. He spent over two weeks in a coma.

Hammond’s daughter Izzy opened up about her experience of his recovery in an episode of the podcast.

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