The RAC foundation has produced a report and recommendations highlighting what they see as opportunities for local authorities to have a greater effect on vehicle emissions.
Having read through the summary only ( a bit of bed time reading for me) this makes some very good points relating to powers that local authorities could utilise to achieve their objectives on reduced emissions.
Their assumption however that electric car and van penetration will still only be 6% by 2020 worries me. Quite rightly there is a focus on the fact that other range extenders and hybrids should be encouraged because pure electric car and vans will continue not to make real headway. It would be more prudent to cater for a wider range of assumptions on this figure as it is pretty open.
My concerns are:
- Hybrids and range extenders are inherently inefficient as you have to carry two power trains on the vehicle.
- I think the commercial jackpot awaiting a motor manufacturer who can bring a 3-400 mile range vehicle that costs the same as an IC equivalent is too tempting and someone will get there – possibly a newcomer like Tesla or BYD.
- Many hybrids end up being very inefficient if operated outside their comfort zone – I have seen too many Priuses belting down the motorway @ 90mph (overweight petrol auto!)
- Many other concerns about electric cars and vans will melt away once (if?) more cars get out in the real world. Battery degradation I think will be a red herring and lack of on street charge points will not be as much of an issue as we think.
It is true that EV’s could still fail to pick up sufficiently especially if manufacturers continue to try and sell them at a £5-10k premium over IC equivalents. However Renault and Nissan at least have invested so heavily in Leaf , Zoe, Fluence etc they will not go down fighting.
Only one thing is sure – we live in interesting times.