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Electric car market has ‘real momentum’: Baroness Kramer

Wednesday 17th September 2014

Sales of ‘plug in cars have increased from just 111 in 2010 to 3,585 in 2013, Baroness Kramer told delegates at the Electric Vehicle Summit which was held at Surrey University yesterday (16 Sept).

Baroness Kramer, minister of state for transport, added that between January and the end of August 2014, almost 6,000 electric cars have been sold - nearly three times the equivalent number last year.

She said the figures show “real momentum in the electric car market” but the current numbers “will be dwarfed by what’s to come over the next few decades”.

She told delegates that running costs are low, the cars are “fantastic to drive” and there is a model for every buyer.

Baroness Kramer made no reference in her speech to safety fears, raised recently by GEM and others, relating to the fact that electric vehicles are virtually silent.

Baroness Kramer said: “We are clear that we want Britain to be the world’s leading market for electric and low carbon vehicles.

“By the end of this year, there will be rapid chargepoints in every motorway service station in England, taking as little as 20 minutes to charge up a car.

“The electric car market is already growing faster than anyone thought just a few years ago. But the prospects for the future are even more exciting.

“Because we’re not just making the most radical change to motoring for generations. We’re transforming the landscape of our towns. We’re slashing transport emissions. We’re creating many thousands of highly skilled manufacturing jobs.

 "And by working hand in hand, we’re securing a more sustainable future for our country - together.”

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David in Suffolk:
I drive an electric BMW and 92 miles a day with plenty for local driving on top, before needing to rapid charge at a station or plugin at home for a slower overnight charge. You might want to look at the latest cars - they've moved on since the g wiz you know.
Chris Bedford

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)
0

For most of us electric vehicles are an over-priced and totally unsuitable option. If all one ever does is local journeys, then OK, but if one uses a car for long trips then they are useless because of their limited range. For most of us the frequency of our longer trips makes hiring a conventional car too expensive. They are a developmental blind alley. Hybrids may well prove more viable.
David, Suffolk

Agree (10) | Disagree (16)
-6

Now that I can’t answer, and I suspect that if I was not involved in a transport related job in the North East then whilst I would probably be aware of the presence of Nissan in the region, I would probably also be unaware that they were manufacturing the Leaf here. As the domestic market for electric vehicles grows then perhaps this will gain more recognition in the future.
Peter Slater, North East Regional Road Safety Resource

Agree (11) | Disagree (0)
+11

I stand corrected Peter, so why didn't I and probably thousands like me not know that the Leaf was built in the UK?
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

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+4

Duncan.
You do seem to be forgetting the Nissan Leaf that is made up here in Sunderland - one of the North East's largest businesses and employers (although not admittedly a British company, but of course neither are the companies that manufacture the Mini-E (which was only a demonstration vehicle) or used to make the G-Wiz (which is now out of production)).
Peter Slater, North East Regional Road Safety Resource

Agree (17) | Disagree (0)
+17

It's very hard to convince people that electricity is the transmission of power, not the source of power. The good Baroness might want to make Britain the leading market for electric vehicles, but most of the ones you can buy at the moment are all made overseas. The experimental MiniE and the laughable G-Wiz represent the domestic products so encouraging sales growth is not doing much for our own industry is it?
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (9) | Disagree (8)
+1

What is the average mpg of an electric car? An electric BMW has a 9l tank providing around 70miles range which works out to around 35mpg. A similar petrol car would get around 39mpg and it would be surprising if power stations could provide electric power more efficiently than a small on-board motor.

Remember that sustainable electric power generators run flat out so an extra load, such as charging electric cars, has to be powered from fossil or nuclear. This means that current electric cars must be burning more fossil fuels than petrol cars. Surely it is not possible, therefore, for electric cars to be “slashing transport emissions”?

Whether global warming is true or not, oil will run out so surely we need to reduce consumption directly by substantially increasing the cost of fuel. But how can that be done without damaging the economy or inciting civil unrest?
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (13) | Disagree (4)
+9