So, Grumpy Gordon Brown wants us all to buy and drive electric cars?Indeed, he is willing to incentivise us up to £5,000 to make his dream of “Electric Cities” come true – read about it here.
I don’t think so.
You would have to pay me more than £5,000 to fund the disguise I would need to wear so as not to be seen driving one of these Noddy Cars, or, to fund the therapy costs if I were to be discovered. Well I guess I might consider a Tesla Roadster (0 to 62mph in less than 4 seconds and a top speed of 130mph) but I am not sure that Gordon’s generosity would bring it within my price range (>£87,000), and to be honest, I have only just ditched the Audi TT as impractical.
Now I recognise that the technology is improving but it would have to improve a great deal more to pursuade me out of my Q5. In particular there are some well-publicised downsides:
1) Charging – at the moment it would seem that it would take me a couple of hours to charge my electric car, which is a bit of a bugger if you have forgotten to plug it in overnight. It would easily spoil your cornflakes as you attempted to rush out the door on your way to that career-making meeting in the morning.
2) Range – at the moment it would seem that I would struggle to drive to the pub at the bottom of our road without recharging
3) Speed – and I certainly wouldn’t be able to outrun the police and their pesky breathalysers on the way back from the pub
4) Safety – and because they are so slow you are sure to be mown down by a Polish HGV driver texting while driving and the typical electric vehicle offers as much crash protection as a St Christopher medal i.e. limited to the power of prayer
5) Environmental impact – electric cars may have zero emissions but until we get the national grid and the power stations sorted we will all die as a result of the additional coal that needs to be burned to generate the additional electricity required
6) Sexism – not to mention that we would have stranded women drivers all over the place. It is well known that the fairer sex is incapable of changing a fuse on a plug.
7) Urban v Rural strife – yet again Gormless Gordon seems to be favouring the cities over the countryside with his Electric City dream. This is all well and good if you live in a city, but, I don’t. It may be more help if they invested in a sensible rural public transport infrastructure. My nearest bus is two and a half miles walk away, it only comes on Tuesday and Friday, and doesn’t go anywhere I would like to go, except Waitrose.
So until the technology, the performance, the infrastructure, and the design improves you will just have to eat my exhaust emissions.
This post was sponsored by Shell International.