Electric cars have long been the butt of many jokes, but car manufacturers ploughing millions of pounds into the investment of electric vehicles are hoping they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Are they wise to be putting so much money into electric cars or will they just end up looking like fools?
There’s one massive problem that electric cars have to overcome if they are to win over drivers, and that’s something that General Motors have termed ‘range anxiety’. This is a term to describe how drivers feel about electric cars – that they cannot travel far enough, or that they will end up stranded on a road because there is nowhere for them to publicly charge their vehicle. Until electric cars can travel more than 100 miles on a full charge many drivers who need to travel long distances from time to time will not be convinced to make the change.
This goes hand in hand with the fact that the infrastructure just isn’t in place at the moment to make driving an electric car anything other than an inconvenience at times. If you can only charge your car at home this means taking a car away for the weekend may prove impossible. Although there are plans to have 1,300 charging points in the capital by the end of next year, for everyone not living in London electric cars just aren’t a realistic option for their travel needs.
However, there are some benefits to electric cars, such as the reduced cost of driving. It’s thought that driving in an electric car could cost as little as 2p per mile. If petrol prices continue to rise more and more people will be tempted to switch to electric cars, especially if they mainly use their vehicles for commuting.
The other reason is simply that the electric car can be a much greener way of driving. While a lot of electricity is still made by fossil fuels, more renewable energy is being produced. Meanwhile, petrol can only be made using oil, which is finite and will always be environmentally polluting. These reasons alone mean electric cars will inevitably take over the road.
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