UK Coalition Government Aims To Boost Electric Car Sales
It would seem that the future of the motor industry in the United Kingdom is electric, according to recent media reports on comments made by the coalition government. In a recent news article by the Financial Times, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced that the government has promised to spend £9 million to build more electric car charging points across Britain.
He was speaking to the media at an event in Ace Cafe London (a popular motoring venue in north-west London), where he also told people that the government had no plans to stop subsidies for new electric car purchases in Britain.
The problems of going electric
In the United Kingdom, takeup of electric vehicles has been rather slow. Although sales of such cars have generally been increasing since the subsidy scheme started back in 2011, the vast majority of cars on British roads are taken up by cars with petrol and diesel engines.
There are some huge stumbling blocks that both the government and the motor industry as a whole need to overcome before we can start to see mass take-up of electric cars. Some of these hurdles are as follows:
Price – despite the fact that you get a £5,000 discount off any brand new electric car, the cost of buying such cars is still relatively high in comparison with even the greenest petrol or diesel equivalent models;
Infrastructure – Nick Clegg obviously committed his government to providing a better electric car charging infrastructure, but as things stand the availability of public charging points for motorists is rather sparse. Whilst you are more likely to find such charging points in densely-populated areas, it can be risky driving your electric car anywhere further afield as charging points are few and far between;
Model choice – according to new and used car dealer Richard Hardie, another stumbling block for the slow sales record of electric vehicles is the fact that the choice of cars available to consumers is extremely limited! Motorists in general would prefer to buy electric versions of the cars that they drive today, rather than vehicles with questionable styling that are probably too “futuristic” for many people in 2014!
Both the government and the motor industry in Britain have their work cut out for them. It would seem that the lack of electric car charging points has even caused “charge rage” over in the United States; in California, there is only one charging point for every 6 electric vehicles on the road! The possibilities of such things occurring here in the UK are very real.
Over in California, some motorists have resorted to leaving notes on the windscreens of cars being charged expressing their anger at ‘hogging’ the charging points, while some even go so far as to remove the electric cables charging a vehicle in order to recharge their own cars!
The authorities over there are advising electric car owners to only charge up when they need to, especially those with hybrid electric cars, as they can run on petrol or diesel as well as electricity provided from charged batteries.