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Electric cars to be widespread by 2020 04.12.08

Say goodbye to the Aixam Mega

The government’s Committee on Climate Change yesterday predicted that within twelve years four in ten cars on British roads would be electric if ambitious new targets to reduce greenhouse gases were to be met reports ETA.

The Committee concluded that replacing petrol and diesel-powered cars with electric and hybrid models would dramatically reduce the environmental impact of road transport, which currently accounts for up to a quarter of Britain’s total CO2 emissions.

Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, the chairman of the committee, said that measures such as lower limits on the amount of CO2 produced by new cars and wider use of insulation and and smart meters to help reduce fuel bills were vital if Britain was to meet targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a third over the next decade.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “Hybrid technology will be ready to replace conventional cars by 2012, but a wholesale switch from petrol and diesel-powered car can only happen if there are incentives or penalties to encourage change.”

Electric cars with bells on

Because electric cars are much quieter than petrol or diesel models they may need to be “fitted with bells” or some other warning system to ensure people hear them coming, Lord Turner has said.

In a study conducted by the University of California, pedestrians heard a petrol-engined Honda Accord moving at 5 miles per hour three seconds before it reached them – by the time they heard an oncoming Prius, it had already passed by.

However Electric car sales have plummeted in the UK this year.156 electric cars were sold in Britain from January to October, less than half the number sold in the same period last year.

One of the two main distributors of electric vehicles in Britain has gone bust on the same day it was revealed that sales of electric cars have fallen by more than half this year.

The news is a setback for alternative-fuel vehicles as it comes two days after the Government’s climate change advisory body predicted a huge increase in the use of electric and hybrid cars.

Electric cars unable to compete

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “Electric cars cannot yet compete with their fossil-fuelled counterparts, and incentives for buying electric are being chipped away; many diesel city cars offer far superior performance and CO2 emissions low enough to escape road tax and congestion charges, and free parking for electric cars is being restricted.”

Nice Car Company had been selling the electric Aixam Mega (pictured above), but sales dropped to such an extent this year that the company was yesterday forced to close.

The Environmental Transport Association offers a range of car insurances and their site is stuffed with useful hints and news about a greener transport system.

Peter Shield

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The Environmental Transport Association

Comment on this article

1 Comment

  • Electric cars to be widespread by 2020

    11 February 2009 10:16, by urbanite

    It’s great that the world is turning on to the possibilities of electric cars and trucks.

    With this in mind, the demise of Aixam Mega is, in the words of Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated. The NICE Car dealership that sold the Mega City and Mega Multitrucks in London may have gone into administration, but it remains open for business under the management of the manufacturer. And there’s no need to be quite so London-centric: there are dealerships for the vehicles in other parts of the UK as well........

    Reply to this comment

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