Experts in electric cars rallied to the defense of the vehicles after suggestions from a government spokesperson that they were not suitable for long journeys.
Electric cars have an average range of around 200 miles, suitable for the vast majority of trips on UK roads, while higher end models have a longer range of around 250 miles.
A growing number of chargers on UK roads can also charge a car battery by around 20% to 80% in half an hour, meaning even long journeys can be made without too much disruption, experts have said. automobiles at the Guardian.
Allegra Stratton, spokesperson for the Cop26 climate summit, sparked controversy when she told Times Radio on Monday that she continued to use a diesel car due to long journeys in Scotland, Wales and the Gloucestershire for family visits.
She normally rides a bike and only drives about 3,000 miles a year, but her comments have caused a storm over “range anxiety” – the fear that EV drivers sometimes suffer from running out of juice before they ride. reach a battery charge point.
Ian Plummer, Commercial Director of Auto Trader, said there are now 25,000 public charging points in the UK, of which nearly 5,000 are fast or super-fast. “Range anxiety and concern about an inadequate charging infrastructure remain the two main barriers to consumer adoption of an alternative fuel vehicle. However, with an average range of over 190 miles on a single charge, modern electric vehicles are more than capable of covering the vast majority of trips. “
Edmund King, president of the AA, said drivers should take a break after 200 miles of driving, in all cases. “Drivers who travel long distances need to take regular breaks to stay safe, so now is the perfect time to charge the car. Range anxiety will continue to decrease with more chargers and improved range on newer models. “
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said plug-in vehicles, including pure electric and hybrid vehicles, accounted for 14.5% of new car registrations between January and June of this year. At the end of last year, around 1.3% of cars on UK roads were plug-ins.
Mike Hawes, CEO of SMMT, called for more electric vehicle infrastructure: “Range anxiety is best tackled by massively increasing the number of public charging points, both on the street and on the road. on the motorway network. Drivers need to be confident that they can find an available and functional charging station wherever they need it, if they are to be inspired to make the switch.
The government has set a time limit on sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles, which will be banned from 2030. Many more charging points will likely be needed to get consumers to switch before the deadline: The Guardian’s Sam Wollaston found on a recent trip from Land’s End to John o’Groats that some charging points were not working or involved queuing.
Plummer said the government must also advocate for electric cars. “We need a very clear message that not only dispels outdated misconceptions, but encourages consumers to make the big change – 40% of consumers we surveyed didn’t even know government subsidies were available,” not to mention the different charging speeds. “
Adrian Keen, Managing Director of InstaVolt, an electric car charging network company, added, “Comments like Allegra’s continue to perpetuate these barriers. [to the take-up of electric vehicles] by fueling archaic negative connotations with electric vehicles. In her position of authority as the government’s climate critic, it is potentially incredibly damaging to the electric vehicle industry – and the government’s climate change goals as a whole – to hear it does not encourage adoption, but rather condemns it.
The Liberal Democrats accused the government of letting consumers down by cutting subsidies available to new electric vehicle owners earlier this year. Sarah Olney, Lib Dem transport spokesperson, said: “Once again, the Conservatives are doing one thing but saying another. They say that by 2030 all new cars sold should be electric, but they are doing everything they can to dissuade people from buying electric vehicles. Even the prime minister’s climate spokesperson says she doesn’t feel like owning one.