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Ten reasons why electric cars are where it’s at

20140922_Ten reasons why electric cars are where it’s at

1. They’re cleaner. In truth, zero-emission doesn’t actually mean zero emissions. Electric cars may not pump out nasty pollutants themselves, but the power plants that create their electricity do. So, what’s best for the environment, all things considered? A traditional car or an electric one? Thankfully, the US Department of Energy has done the maths. They side with the electric.

2. They can be cost-effective. Emphasis on can. It should be said that most electric cars are more expensive to buy than their non-electric equivalents, although that expense is mitigated by the Government’s £5,000 grant for plug-in car purchases. But savvy motorists will then make savings on the road. Depending on the vehicle and the electricity source, it can cost about 3 pence a mile to run an electric car. They also save on taxes and congestion charges.

3. They’re too cool for school… Have you seen the new Tesla Model S? This is no weirdy-beardy-mobile. It looks look a modern Jaguar, and its dashboard is basically a massive iPad. A recent software update even made it so that Model S owners could name their car. Naturally, I’d call mine KITT.

4. …but can also do the school run. New electric vehicles aren’t just snazzy – they’re also increasingly practical. The basic Model S, for example, has a top speed of 120mph and can travel 242 miles on a single charge. It’s expected that, pretty soon, thanks to new ‘aluminium-air’ batteries, electric cars could have a range of 1,000 miles.

5. Politicians are behind them… Normally, you wouldn’t want a politician to get involved with your life. But it’s different with electric cars. The fact that the Coalition Government is spending millions on the necessary infrastructure should help with an old complaint about the vehicles: that there aren’t enough charging points. But it’s not just central Government. London will soon introduce a citywide electric car-sharing scheme.

6. …and so is Elon Musk. But even if the politicians fail, there’s always the community of entrepreneurial tech-billionaires. Among their number is Elon Musk, who is behind the Model S. He’s already started installing a series of ‘Supercharger’ stations across the UK, and in other countries around the world, that are free to use for Tesla drivers.

7. They’re on the rise… You may not be wowed by the fact that, of the 2.26 million cars sold in the UK last year,only 2,512 were purely electric. But that, it should be said, was a near 100 per cent increase on the year before. And that’s just in the UK: in Norway, electric cars are already outselling conventional models. After the introduction of the Model S, and of more charging points, you can expect these trends to continue.

8. …and will one day take over the world. In fact, the Committee on Climate Change expects 60 per cent of new cars to be electric by 2030. This increase is certainly being prodded along by other revolutions in motoring technology. Google’s driverless car, and most of the other driverless cars that are currently being developed, will also be electric.

9. They’re well-loved. Electric cars such as the Tesla Model S and the Chevrolet Volt have actually become more popular with their owners over time. As my man Will once wrote, ‘Age cannot wither her.’

10. Tom Hanks drives one. We could have gone for the easy win, and pointed out that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie drive electric. But they’ve never produced endearing, little videos about their electric car. Tom Hanks has – so he gets our respect here.

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