UK Govt to spend £100m on three-city electric car trial
Tax breaks for EVs a better use of taxpayers' money?
'Leccy Tech On a slightly smaller scale than the planned 'leccy infrastructure roll out Down Under, the British Government will this week announce it is planning to fork out £100m in order to test electric cars and vans in three cities.
Details are vague at the moment, but the idea seems to be to invite tenders from car makers to supply vehicles which will be run for a certain period of time in order to gather real-world usage data with a view to something else happening sometime in the future, the BBC reports.
As we suspect most of the information gathered from drivers will be variations on the theme of 'there aren't enough places to charge the things', we are struggling to see how a limited-scope, three-city trial costing £100m which will produce results that many will regard as bleedin' obvious represents value for the tax payer.
Announcing the Vauxhall
Chevy Volt will be sold VAT-free come 2010 or investing in some sort of domestic and commercial re-charge infrastructure would seem a more practical use of the cash and - perhaps more importantly - would be a use that would have a guaranteed tangible end result.
If the Government still want a real-world test maybe BMW could be persuaded to ship a few of those 500 Mini Es our way so they could be leased to urban GPs or Plod. That shouldn't cost 100 big ones.
Presumably the move is part and parcel of the Government's - hopelessly? - optimistic plans to cut the nation's greenhouse gas output by 80 per cent by the year 2050.
More details as and when they are released.
I read that as
UK Govt to spend £100m on three-city electric chair trial. That's a lot, I thought.
If they were really serious.....
The government would insist that Royal Mail, the Government Delivery Agency, TfL and others invested in electric vehicles.
But you won't find many private sector users going for them, most fleet vehicles these days are leased over fixed terms tied to contracts, electric vehicles are more expensive and have very long life spans. Look at the age of some milk floats around London!
The maintenance company one of my relatives runs would love to use them, but the market is too competitive, contracts are too short as little as two years, so the lease rates would be astronomic. They only make sense for long term users who don't have to worry too much about their business levels.
BTW can you imagine our favourite estate agents in London swapping their Beetles or Minis for a electric vehicle they had to keep using for 40 years. Ho! Ho!
Don't forget any decent car uses a lot of power in addition to the primary drive train: Heating/air conditioning, lights (soon to be mandated as always on) turn signals, wipers, ICE, etc. plus weight of batteries to haul around.