‘Ecotricity’, the company responsible for installing charging stations across the country, describe electric cars as a ‘revolution’. But electric cars are not new. In fact, the first electric car appeared in 1884 (invented by Thomas Parker, who was also responsible for electrifying the London Underground). So how have we only recently heard about them? And what is the big deal?
As with any typical petrol car driver, I have become accustomed to extortionate spending associated with my car, and although I am well aware of the high fuel prices, I like the comfort of traveling directly to my destination without having to interact with anyone at 7am! Surely if there was a way to continue doing this whilst engaging in sustainable methods of travel we would all be chomping at the bit to get involved?
There is a lot to be said for providing a sustainable travel option that allows stubborn members of the public to retain the comfort of having their own, personal method of travel whilst protecting the earth’s dwindling resources. There have, however been criticisms of the electric car which are only just starting to be overcome; such as the charging time and the high initial cost of the vehicle.
That said, I see it as a huge deal that the positive benefits outweigh these slight negatives. For example, the cost of running an electric car works out to be a mere 3p per mile (compared to an average of 16ppm for petrol/diesel cars). As the average person drives 13,476 miles per year, a person switching from a petrol/diesel car to an electric car can expect to save £1751.88 per year! (And that’s before inflation). Not to mention the huge ‘green’ benefits, including a huge reduction in air and noise pollution.
So, is this the future of sustainable travel? An option to satisfy even the people that are most opposed to public transport? This is a sustainable travel option that is only set to get better as initial costs are reduced. It is definitely one to keep an eye on.
From 1884 to 2014: Thomas Parker’s first electric car, and the 2014 Tesla S.