by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
While a great number of people seem to think that electric vehicles may represent our motoring future, only two per cent of people are likely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) in the next five years according to a new survey.
Personally, I must say that I do not blame the people one little bit and that for more than one reason. The main one being the price of those things and the second one the fact that charging stations are still few and far between and that they just take still far too long to charge.
Despite Department of Transport claims that 2011 would be ‘the year of the electric car’ – offering hefty subsidies and advising councils to plan for an electric future – just 1,000 of the battery-powered vehicles were sold in the Britain in 2011. One thousand EVs is but a drop in the ocean and that way those vehicles will never go down in price as, putting it simply, the demand is not there.
And when specialist car insurance broker Adrian Flux asked 1,000 of its customers how likely they were to buy an EV in the next five years, just two per cent were seriously considering swapping the petrol pump for the charging point.
Nearly 70 per cent ruled out a switch entirely, with the remaining 28 per cent firmly in the wait and see camp.
While most of us agree that petrol and diesel-powered cars are unsustainable in the long term, it seems few of us are prepared to buy a car we feel has a high purchase price, limited range, long recharge times and questionable resale value.
However, the electric revolution is still charging forward despite the lukewarm appetite of the British people. In May 2012 alone, 60 charging points were opened in Oxford, making the city the EV capital of Europe with one charging point for every 2,400 people, the best ratio in the EU.
London has 654 charging points – the most in Europe – and British cities dominate the top 10 list of electric-friendly locations in the continent.
New charging stations will recharge an electric car battery in four hours, slashing previous charging times by 50 per cent, and future charging points could cut this time to just 20 minutes.
Presently, a domestic charge at 240 volts on a 13 amp socket could take between six and 10 hours to fully charge an electric car, although this will change significantly as technology improves, if we are lucky.
Although the majority of people’s car journeys are short, they still want to know that – if they choose – they could travel long distances in their car without having to worry about finding a charging station.
There are options available, such as range-extended electric cars with petrol or diesel generators to provide extra electricity and hybrid cars which recover energy from the movement and braking of the car.
While there are ever more new EVs coming to the market one car maker, the German firm AUDI, which is part of Volkswagen, has decided to ditch the idea entirely and concentrate on hydrogen fuel cell. The fuel cell that is yet another stupid idea and will only make money for certain people again.
So, could someone tell me again about the electric car being the future. The fact is that it is not. The future is human and animal powered transportation and the sooner everyone got that message the better.
The truth is that the age of personal motoring is all but over and will be as soon as oil become more and more expensive as we are coming to the end of its viable production. As a result of that also the electric cars and vans will become more expensive.
The only option that we have is a total rethink of the way we travel and where we live and work.
Human and animal power are the future and not the electric car or the car with hydrogen fuel cell. What that will mean for farming and food production I am sure everyone will understand by now as well.
Farming too, and everything else, will have to change and that means that the large machines also will be history as they are no longer usable; sustainable they never were in the first place.
We must rethink our ways and we must do it now...