Electric dreams can come true
I READ your articles on electric cars with interest, having owned one (a Nissan Leaf) for almost a year (Electric dreams? Utopia or dystopia, News, July 30). I think I can offer some reassurance. Rapid chargers take around 45 minutes to return the car to a 100 per cent charge. They are well distributed along the main roads. The range is improving all the time. Our car has a range when fully charged of around 120 miles. It has just taken us from Glasgow to Bettyhill on the north coast for a week’s holiday, and back. We charged in Perth and Aviemore, then in Tain before reaching Bettyhill – where we were 12 miles from another rapid charger at Melvich.
On the way back we charged at Helmsdale, Dingwall, Aviemore and Perth. What is convenient to us (as retired people) won’t be convenient to all, and someone travelling long distances for work wouldn’t be happy to wait 45 minutes to recharge. But the technological improvements you report will transform this, and there is no reason why most people couldn’t be using electric vehicles in five or 10 years, subject to the Government ensuring the National Grid is up to meeting the demand.
The car’s silence is indeed both a blessing and a danger, but the same applies to bicycles. Electric vehicles offer desperately needed cleaner air but don’t necessarily reduce road congestion. Public transport and walking/cycling remain the best options for moving around towns.
Arguably the greater threat to the world lies in our unsustainable use of fossil fuels. I am delighted the Government has signalled at last the direction of travel although I wish they would show a greater sense of urgency. I look forward to the Government playing its part too in ensuring National Grid capacity for the growth in electric vehicles.