Saturday, 28 April 2007

Small electric cars are killing the Planet?

One thing I’ve noticed working on the fringes of Soho is that there are a lot more electric cars on the streets, those pokey little ones pictured above. These cars should be banned.


Now before anyone pops a vein I’ll explain. Global warming is a fact, it is getting worse. It will have terrible consequences, some of which we don’t yet know about. Man’s use of energy is making it worse. By reducing energy use we will help solve the problem and also save fossil fuels which are finite. To do this in the UK we will have to make between a 20-40% cut in car use, this will mean some people have to give up cars; most will have to use them less. We will have to have a radical change in how we live basically planning our towns, so we can walk to work, to school or make short journeys on public transport. When we travel abroad we will stay longer and go less often, no one will fly to Shanghai for long weekends. I think I should number these bits so I don’t have to repeat them (this is “green exposition no 1”).


"BUT" the people who drive these little electric cars will be saying “...we’ve already swapped to sustainable transport” and the answer to that is hooey!
Little electric cars are not sustainable because you can’t do anything in them that you can’t do on foot, on a bike or on public transport. They are crap for shopping as they are so tiny. The school run for most families would impossible as they are 2 seaters. They have limited range (100 mile tops). And yet to not do the above very well they use up loads of energy to in their production.
They are about a quarter of the size of a black cab but over there lifetimes 4 of them will not be as useful a one seemingly gas guzzling cab in fact I think 10 of them would just about match a cab for usefulness if not more.
The only reason they are useful is as an example of bad environmental behaviour. Like carbon offsetting, they are a way of rich people appearing to be greener without changing their behaviour one iota. In fact because they occasionally go to Waitrose in their electric bubble car the media types who drive these cars can justify to their selves spending half term flying to Patagonia.


You can tell how much use electric and other urban cars are by the fact that at least 60% are parked at any time. So the test from now on should be, would you be better of walking and the answer will be most of the time yes.


One other thing, when anyone is challenged on their car use (my close friends and family included), they always justify it by recourse to other people, as in without it I couldn’t take the kids to school, I have to visit my aged mum etc. What the don’t say is I like driving and will do almost anything including flooding the country I live in order to not get on a bus or walk to the off licence. Sadly all the justification in the world won’t stop global warming, having sensible tax systems that encourage informed environmental choices (ie. axing low road tax, free parking and no congestion charge for tiny electric cars) and that don’t placate deluded self serving media types will.



Ps don’t ya think the picture of the bike covered in baskets shows how resourceful us humans are when we put our minds to a problem.

1 comment:

Coventry Blogger said...

And then there's the plastic, metal, etc they are made of, the continued congestion on the roads, etc, which helps put people off cycling...
But sadly I don't think those of us who have given up cars/never bought one at all will get much thanking.