Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has warned that the majority of cars will still be petrol in 2050, given the current rate of electrification in vehicles.

Given that there is currently no high-profile motoring show on television, the 54-year-old suggested that there could be a need for a programme that informs viewers on self-driving and electric vehicles.

“EVs will be part of the picture, of course they are,” he told The Telegraph. “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.”

Stating that is was more necessary for a prime-time motoring show than ever before, he added: “The biggest financial decision we make as individuals, with a bearing on the carbon future, is the car.

“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.”

Countering the belief that Gen Z drivers aren’t “petrolheads”, he said 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.

His comments came as he spoke about his new podcast alongside his daughter, which launched in February and focuses on men, mental health, motor-racing and cancel culture.

Hammond is best-known for co-hosting the BBC’s Top Gear from 2002 until 2015 alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May, before the trio went on to host The Grand Tour until this year.

He made headlines in 2006 after suffering a life-threatening crash while driving a jet-powered car at 320mph for the programme, which saw him spend a fortnight in a coma.

The BBC announced in 2022 that Top Gear would not be returning for the forseeable future, after presenter Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff suffered severe injuries while filming.

Speaking of her father’s recovery, Izzy recalled that he was “doolally” once returning from hospital and would often repeat himself. “I know it was bad, but I don’t look back on it as a traumatic experience that ruined my childhood. It’s just a thing that happened,” she said.

During the podcast, Hammond and his daughter openly discuss male mental health, as he added that people are often comfortable discussing their issues with him given that he was “very publicly brain injured”.

“Yes, I’m a middle-aged bloke and we’re just a slice of society, like postmenopausal women, young boys, old people – but society needs happy, functioning, balanced middle-aged men who can be vulnerable and talk things through and understand their emotions,” he said.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/richard-hammond-petrol-electric-cars-top-gear-b2528227.html

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