There has been a lot of publicity recently about electric cars – there’s been the big Nissan Leaf campaign, and there are more hybrids popping up all over the shop than you could shake a stick at. Everyone’s getting excited, and there is big talk going on around infrastructure and charging networks. People started to be getting excited about the possibility of driving an electric car, in more than just a geeky wouldn’t-that-be-interesting kind of way.
However, it seems that the excitement may be waning a little – just as it was gathering any sort of momentum. A couple of months ago we heard that Tata may be de-emphasising the Indica Vista electric model over concerns about infrastructure and practicality. Now Audi are the latest on the panic attack bandwagon, as rumours suggest that the car giant have yet again got the wobblies over their A1 and A2 e-tron projects. These little electric cars, it seems, will cost too much to sell (neatly taking them out of the reach of their target audience, it has to be said!), and depend on an (there’s that word again!) infrastructure that simply isn’t strong enough to support it.
So, are these manufacturers right? I’m inclined to think that perhaps they are. A drive in the Nissan Leaf convinced us that, contrary to first assumptions, an electric car can be fun to drive. However, it also demonstrated all the flaws with the technology – and technology that we feel has been lauded and pushed too much, too fast. There simply isn’t the network for it – charging takes too long, and if there are any more than 3 electric cars to a town then it becomes impractical. Note: stats COMPLETELY unsubstantiated by any evidence!
We all know something needs to be done to change the automotive industry – it’s not scaremongering to say that the oil simply can’t go on forever, especially not at the rate that humanity is currently burning through it. However, maybe people have jumped into electric cars on the basis of a buzz word – and now the automotive giants are realising it may not be as simple as they thought…
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