‘One charger in our town! Who are they kidding?’ Britons rage at push for electric cars

5 mins read


Tesla currently owns 1,972 of the electric charging devices in the UK that only fuel Tesla cars, but Elon Musk has decided to open the system up to other electric car brands. The news came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new £1.3billion scheme to build electric vehicle infrastructure across the UK.

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But the move has not encouraged a wave of British drivers to make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric – according to new polling data.

In a poll of 2,021 people, held from November 3 to 16, a huge 87 percent of voters said they would not consider buying an electric car.

One of the most commonly cited reasons for their reluctance was the lack of charging points available across smaller towns and villages.

With Mr Johnson’s net-zero strategy being rolled out over 2022, Britons can expect to see more and more charging points across the country.

In fact, in the last 30 days, 959 new charging points have been built in the UK, according to Zap Map.

But right now, Britons say infrastructure for electric vehicles is not good enough.

One voter, Expat1, said there was “not a chance” they would make the switch “until EV cars have been perfected and proper infrastructure is in place, and you can recharge in minutes instead of hours”.

Another reader, Trevor Ammanford, said: “Who are they kidding? Come to our town, there is one charging point in the town centre car park and that’s it!

“None in Tesco, Lidl, Co-op or other council car parks.”

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Many voters voiced concerns that electric car batteries are unreliable and short-lived, but current owners of electric vehicles came to their defence.

Reader JG said: “My EV will be six years old in January. The battery pack has not shown any degradation.

“The battery pack and the rest of the electric drivetrain are covered by warranty for eight years.

“The lack of hot metal to metal contact and the burning of fuel in EVs means that there isn’t much to wear out on an EV – it is mostly things like track road ends, gaiters, wheel bearings and brake pads.”

They added: “Producing hydrogen cleanly (by electrolysis) is ridiculously inefficient, so hydrogen is normally manufactured through the steam reforming of oil refinery off gases – which is why the oil companies are lobbying so hard for hydrogen.”

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But dozens of readers disagreed, claiming that “hydrogen is the future”.

Joe Heath said: “Manufacturers are perfecting hydrogen-powered vehicles, which will be uncomplicated to refuel and have far greater range.”

Whether hydrogen powered or electric vehicles are better for the environment depends on where you live according to data from the Radiant Energy Group (REG).

Data from REG suggests that EVs in Poland and Kosovo actually create more carbon emissions because their electric systems depend so much on coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel.

But in other European countries, EVs produce much lower emissions because the electricity used to charge them comes from renewable sources like solar power.

As of December 2020, 40.2 percent of total electricity produced in the UK was renewable, and therefore electric cars driven in the UK produce significantly less emissions than petrol and diesel engines.

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