Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when everyone gets out their crystal balls and starts predicting what the big trends will be and what will have the biggest impact on our lives. My prediction (and I hate to admit this) is that electric vehicles will be a big talking point in 2011.
With hikes in fuel duty and VAT already pushing up petrol prices to record highs and bumper increases in buses, tubes and trains fares, people are going to seriously consider other options. Whilst some cities in the UK already offer eco-alternatives such as biking schemes, many commuters and families will be looking at their car and how they can save money by switching to a less gas-guzzling version.
Now I’ve never been a big fan of electric vehicles but I think if the car makers can get it right, I may be swayed and with support from the Government increasing, the day when electric vehicles become mainstream may be getting closer.
On 1st January, the UK Government’s new scheme came into effect, offering grants – of up to £5,000 – for electric and ultra-low emission cars. Now that amount of money is not to be sniffed at! Will it work? Will 2011 be the year of the electric car?
I remain unconvinced for now until a car manufacture makes a stunning, long-distance electric car. I would prefer to see investment in high-speed rail links, improvements in road conditions and development of a more pleasant and affordable public transport system. Surely if public transport was more reliable, cheaper and efficient, people would use it more and that in turn would reduce the number of people driving and lower emissions. Sounds simple I know, but it could just work.