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Will your child grow up to drive an electric car?

3 years ago

Jonathan Weinberg writer
Jonathan Weinberg Technology Journalist GB
Assuming they can afford to buy a car, tax it, insure it and pay for its upkeep – in 10 years or more, your child could help fuel a revolution in motoring by driving an all-electric car.
Many of the major car manufacturers are investing their research and development budgets into creating vehicles that can travel on our roads without the need for traditional petrol or diesel. 
The Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling zero emission car. It’s just reached the milestone of 100,000 sales. The new BMW i3 is also making a move into the space, with demand expected to outstrip supply.
Other top names such as Volkswagen with its entry-level e-Up are also in the race to change our habits from filling up at the pumps to filling up with charge. And lots of smaller manufacturers are also aiming to create the best battery-powered vehicle they can.
All of this means that within a decade, your child could be driving one. Well, as long as they’ve passed their test.
Right now these vehicles are not cheap to buy but as more models come to market, competition will drive the price down. They are very cheap to run though, a ’full tank’ can be as cheap as a few pounds, meaning they’re perfect for teenagers and 20-somethings who do mostly local short mileage.
You simply plug them in overnight, ideally to a specifically-installed socket outside your house, and charge them up, giving enough juice in the LEAF’s case to do more than 100 miles in perfect conditions. 
However, there’s a catch. If you need to do more miles on longer journeys, you’ll be reliant on a network of chargers at motorway service stations and by the side of the road. Some of these can fast power up the battery in less than an hour.
But these are limited in number right now, although Red Dwarf robot Kryten (alias actor Robert Llewellyn) has just managed a trip from London to Edinburgh in his LEAF, which took 13 hours.
But with the UK Government, major motor companies and the European Union all looking to invest in creating a wider charging infrastructure – it’s in their interest after all both commercially and environmentally - the chances are this network will cover a decent chunk of Britain by the time your youngsters are legally entitled to take to the road.
And best of all, even these current early models drive very well. They’re nothing like the dodgem or milk float you’d expect. So just imagine the leap forward in electric technology by the time today’s kids are in charge behind the wheel. 

Do you envisage a future of electric cars? Which country is going to get a souped-up charging network in place first? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 
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Opinion 3 years ago

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