“More charging points and cheaper electric cars" - Star Readers' debate the merits of a switch to electric cars

Britain's energy regulator Ofgem has announced that it will invest £300m to build infrastructure for 3,550 new ultra-rapid charging points on motorways and in towns across the UK… we asked our readers what it would take to convince them to switch to an electric car.

By Christopher Hallam
Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 2:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 2:21 pm
Go Ultra Low Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on charge on a London street. Ultra-low emission vehicles such as this can cost as little as 2p per mile to run and some electric cars and vans have a range of up to 700 miles.
Go Ultra Low Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on charge on a London street. Ultra-low emission vehicles such as this can cost as little as 2p per mile to run and some electric cars and vans have a range of up to 700 miles.

This is what they had to say:

Convenience is the key focus for Nik Seth, who would like, “Sheffield Council to allow charging points on the streets. We live in a terraced house so can't charge a car on our drive / garage.” Renars Simenovskis outlined a need for; “More charging points and cheaper electric cars? I live in flat, so no chance to charge it overnight but would love to have one.”

Stuart Havenhand kept it simple saying, “Nowt” and David Baugh could be swayed, only if “the price wasn’t extortionate to buy one.”

Kathleen Hassanali is firmly against them, if her response is anything to go by; “Nothing… still have to use batteries and kids are used to mine a component for them. Then theres the power installation what is used there.”

Some people though were (or rather are) more open-minded towards an electric switch, such as Richard Bloor, who said; “So many anti BEV people talking with such authority about something they obviously have not researched and know nothing about.”

Frequent commentor, Eugene Solomon posed an interesting take; “How about if manufacturers leased design copyrights for classic cars so that you could get a new electric car that looked just like, say, an Aston Martin DB5 or an E-Type Jag? That'd be an incentive, no?” — that would be great, but I doubt that such manfacturers would allow their IP to be used by other companies. There are some lovely conversions out there though, such as the classic e-Mustang that someone had created.

Neil Taylor is; “Already convinced, when all i can smell where i work in Asda car park is diesel fumes mainly from older cars and vans, old VWs, Vauxhalls seem to be by far the worst and many just sit there with engines ticking over whilst waiting for someone doing the shopping, it doesn't help when the car park is a covered one. I can end a shift with eyes stinging and tight chest when it's really bad. So the sooner the better although i can't see it happening before i retire.”

And, Nigel Brewitt just wants them to be; “Cheaper, better range, faster charging, more charging points. Not much really” — suppose if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Nice try though. Meanwhile, Matt Loxley would like to see; “Better batteries, lower prices, self charging as the electricity has to be generated somehow and i'm sure the majority isnt via solar or wind.”

Rob Linley hopes that; “the power providers / Grid have enough capacity for us to ditch diesel and petrol so we can ALL plug into the grid ...... they haven’t by the way and will need a few nuclear power stations building to meet demand and NO we cannot rely on Wind turbines and Solar because it’s not always windy or the right type of wind and or sunny ... money should be put into Tidal power and hydrogen technology.”

Some remain unconvinced by the current eco-focus on battery driving electric cars though, like John Land, who says; “Absolutely nothing will convince me to own an EV they are a stupid idea, hydrogen fuel cell technology is the way forward not plug in EV” — options are always good and for some reason hydrogen fuel cell technology seems to have lost a lot of its popularity and focus, wonder why?

Finally, electrician, Craig Sparky Smedley said; “Imagine living in a terraced house no parking and the whole street has extension leads across the pavement etc its ludicrous and if u looked at it carefully u would agree. The infrastructure is not in place ,every street transformer needs updating to allow much more current to flow to each house,your own supply if not 100a now needs updating, the battery life is 3 to 5 , I can keep going on. Yes its there but it will never ever replace most cars and its defo not greener or cleaner when you are adding millions more batteries to the environment. You are just moving the pollution from 1 source to another, its not the way forward in my view at all. All the best with it cant wait to see ur electricity bill.”

One thing is certain, opinion is certainly split and over the coming months and years it’s a discussion that will only get more intense as pressure to move away from fossil fuels becomes more impactful (and not just on the planet). First things first though, we certainly need a much better infrastructure that will ensure all the converts are able to easily charge their cars, as well as lower costs of entry and incentives for switching over that ensure electric cars are as accessible as possible. It’ll take time.

You can read more of the comments here on Facebook and over on Twitter as well.