Posts Tagged ‘cars’

I like electric cars. I like the idea of them, and though see the issues with manufacturing them, the benefits for their use in cities and densely populated areas for short journeys cannot be argued with. For me, I wouldn’t mind one. I do about 10 miles a day, hardly a large enough mileage to warrant paying so much for ever increasingly petrol prices. An electric car would be perfect, could pop to work and back each day in a nice little ‘smug-mobile’ due to saving the environment, and save on petrol.


However, there is one major and glaringly obvious issue. Cost. The cost of electric cars is currently far too high. Only now are we seeing the ‘affordable’ range coming into reach in the shape of the Nissan Leaf. I was shocked to find that these are £20,000 with the gov’t grant of £5000.

While many may like the idea of owning one, electric cars are currently stupendously over priced. Companies have spent far too much time and frankly, money, making electric cars the same as petrol. They have made high performance cars to go  ‘ooh, ooh, look at this car, it’s as fast as a petrol car’ which frankly, while impressive, is besides the point. People buying electric cars currently don’t want or necessarily need speed or high performance, nor can they afford it. That time, money and research should be focused on making them affordable. After all, isn’t this what the whole point of them is? Having widely-used electric cars will in theory help the planet. At the very least will reduce our reliance on petrol and reduce the oil companies power. Once a base range of electric cars that people can both afford and use day-to-day, performance will naturally increase with the technology.

Slightly more attractive ZoeEV

Renault, have however taken a step in the right direction. Their Zoe EV is expected to be around £14,250 which is much more manageable and realistic in terms of actual purchasing power. Not cheap enough, but a step in the right direction. The way they achieve this price too is via renting the batteries rather than selling. This reduces cost for consumer, but also means that newer batteries can be installed hassle free, as they’re swapped out at petrol stations. But one company isn’t enough. Frankly, until the VW Group get an equally tempting proposal out of the door, I shaln’t hold my breath.

To solve this issue beyond just moaning at manufactors, the question of government grants needs to be assessed. £5,000 clearly isn’t enough for people to currently be willing to upgrade. The infrastructure isn’t yet in place for long-distance journeys, and all round investments need to be made and to educate the public as to whether this is indeed a valid alternative. Increasing gov’t grants to make electric cars not only affordable but tempting will go some way to increase demand, thus causing manufacters to get their act together.

This, coupled with my various plans for making a self sustaining and self sufficient UK would detract from much of the political issues petrol creates, both national and international. At the end of the day, the adoption of electric cars cannot be too detrimental, assuming it is done well.

While it’s great that electric has been displayed to do high performance things to show it’s not sub-par to petrol you could kind of do with having a car people will actually buy and use  as that’s the whole point in making them Green. If a few people take them up, the impact will be minimal. Let’s hope that soon electric cars become more widely recognised as a valid alternative and a valid fuel source.

Let us also hope, that newer models will have better, less clichéd names such as the LEAF. And less white interiors. Look nice, but impractical for kids!


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