Propaganda. That’s what got us into the whole ‘oil-burnergeddon’ situation in the first place. Meanwhile, the all-electric lobby is going down an unlit blind alley at warp speed.
If you haven’t noticed, the Go Ultra Low campaign partners are Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
It’s all very laudable and alternative power is great, so maybe just as much effort should be put into a campaign for a decent hydrogen infrastructure. Quite how we’ll power plug-in motors when an overreliance on wind causes blackouts seems to be a real concern.
The interesting bit is that the campaigners say they’ve spoken to young people thinking about the cars they’ll be buying in 10 years’ time. Apparently, 80% of 14-year-olds plan to make the first car they buy an electric one. Good luck with that.
A budget of £7500 gets you into a 2011 Nissan Leaf right now, so in three years’ time, when those 14-year-olds can stump up the cash for their first car, they’ll cost maybe £3500. That’s affordable for a 17-year-old’s mum and dad, possibly. The indications are that because it is a Nissan, the batteries should be fine for a few more years yet.
Much more affordable for the forward-thinking 17-year-old has to be the Renault Twizy. You can buy a 2012 example with hardly any miles at all from £3000 now, so that means £1500 or less in three years’ time. Kids will love the optional doors and all that.
If they want a real car with a Renault badge, a Zoe from 2013 can be £6000 now and £3400 in a few years’ time.
I haven’t mentioned insurance, which is, of course, the biggest issue for teen drivers now and possibly for ever. The situation could change, but right now a leccy car does cost more to cover. That’s a factor worth thinking about. Even more important, can you trust a teen to plug the thing in?
Mum and dad might get a taste for electricity and they could go for a rare Renault Fluence from £6000 and up. Teslas are pretty rare used cars and not cheap: around £50k for a 2011 Roadster and £4k-£5k more for a Model S.
The propaganda is clearly working, though, because Go Ultra Low revealed that the younger the person they questioned, the greater the demand for green cars. Of the young people polled, 56% associated electric cars with lower CO2 emissions and 48% with cleaner air, and 34% believed that electric cars were “the types of cars that everyone will be driving one day”.