Electric youth

c: | f: /

Remember the everlasting match? Invented in the 1970s if I recall correctly. Have you got one? Didn’t think so, because the invention was silenced and bought by the match makers of the time to protect their business model. Same with electric cars, it seems.

I totally don’t get electric cars. Maybe I just haven’t figured out the practicalities yet, but it seems there are a few fundamental problems.

  1. Let’s say you’re driving 600 miles and your car has a range of 300. When a regular car runs out of petrol you pull into a service station, fill it up and drive off. When your electric car runs out of battery power you pull into a service station and connect it to a charger. For between four and six hours for a full charge.
  2. How do you kill six hours at Keele Services?
  3. The maximum stay at a motorway service station or supermarket car park is approximately two hours before you have to pay.
  4. Electric cars are billed as an ecologically sound alternative to petrol. Yet construction and building of such cars can have a greater negative impact on the environment than conventional cars (Prius, I’m looking at you).
  5. And that’s not to consider the safe disposal of the car battery at the end of the car’s life.
  6. But the killer problem I find with electric cars is that they require electricity to charge them. And we all know that to produce electricity we currently, predominantly, burn fossil fuels (nuclear and other renewable energy sources notwithstanding). So what’s the environmental and long-term benefit?

It’s great that alternative sources of energy are being considered, but so far I have yet to see any real innovation without the energy cartel being involved somewhere along the line. Biofuels have certainly done nothing but force the price of food up.

I fear it’s going to be the everlasting match all over again: the governments, oil barons and corporations who have a vested interest in keeping us reliant on fossil fuels will always stand in the way of true progress unless we do something about it.

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