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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

20 Dec 2010 11:12:03

2011 "make or break" for electric cars

The next two years will be "make or break" for the electric vehicle market in the UK, one expert has claimed.

Dr Ben Lane, managing editor of nextgreencar.com, said from a "sales point of view" 2010 was not a good year for low carbon vehicles, however he believes now "a number of key elements are all coming into place".

These elements were said to be manufacturers making high-quality models, advances in lithium battery technology allowing vehicles to travel further between charges and political support for electric cars.

"2011 and 2012 will be make or break years and the signs at the moment are that it will be 'make'," Dr Lane said.

The comments come following the announcement of the nine models to be covered by the government's Plug-In Car grant.

Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, the Peugeot iOn and the smart fourtwo electric drive will be the first vehicles eligible for the maximum £5,000 grant when it comes into force in January.

The recently named European Car of the Year, the Nissan Leaf, will also be covered by the scheme.  ADNFCR-1235-ID-800300756-ADNFCR

Discussion Thread  

23 Dec 2010

Unless a step change is made in improving the range of electric vehicles, it is highly likely that they will be placed in direct competition with public transport, given that efforts on infrastructure provision are focussed in city centres which are accessible by other modes of transport.

I am also concerned that the electric vehicle bandwagon won't help to solve the increased difficulties rural communities face, especially in Scotland. In many remote areas cars are essential. Without adequate range for electric vehicles and no charging infrastructure provision, communities will continue to struggle against the high fuel costs which are grossly exaggerated with extremely high fuel taxes which even makes the most economical cars expensive to run for low income families, who in any event are not likely to be able to afford new vehicles.

To this end, I do hope that there is an equal effort in developing 'drop-in' alternative low carbon synthetic fuels. Avenues for this include: sustainable biofuels produced from waste biomass, algae and seaweed; and also hydrocarbons developed from recycled CO2 captured both from emissions and the atmosphere. The existing vehicle pool does not need to be substituted prematurely and this will also save on the energy and resource costs. Is the existing vehicle fleet has the potential to run on low carbon fuels, why is this being ignored?

Discussion Thread  


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