There are 2,000 electric cars on the road. They have a range of less than 90 miles – half that if you need to put the heater on – and they cost around £28,000, almost four times a petrol equivalent. They have been given a whacking great government subsidy of £5,000 – effectively taking from the poor to give to the rich eco-loons that can afford them. Despite this, people aren’t buying them and they don’t want them because, compared to conventional cars, they are a sick joke that aren’t even ‘green’. But the BBC greenies are determined to tell us they are the future. Here, Rory Cellan-Jones, who is married to BBC trustee Diane Coyle – one of those who sanctioned the publication of the BBC’eco bible, by Steve Jones – reports on plans to open a network of charging points that, he claims, will allow us to drive such cars to London to Edinburgh despite their limited range.
As usual, it’s a total travesty of journalism. First he allows the man who will benefit financially from the new charging points to make ludicrous claims about them without any real challenge. And second, he doesn’t ask the key, blindingly obvious question. This is a report about driving between London to Edinburgh, so how long will it take? I used to do it from Hackney to Princes Street in six hours with one fuelling stop, an average of just over 60mph.
I will do the math for him. The electric car has a maximum range of 90 miles. That means it will need four or five fuelling stops of two hours each (to achieve maximum charge). So let’s see, that’s eight or 10 hours plus six hours…I make that 14-16 hours, with at least eight of those spent in motorway service areas. And if it was cold you could add double the number of fuel stops, making 26 hours. As Christopher Booker has pointed out, it used to take a stage coach only 20 hours longer.
The alternatives? Well a train takes four hours, and a plane, door to door, just a tad less. In other words, the electic car is light years away from viability and only a masochistic loony would buy one, but Mr Cellan-Jones does not want to say so. He disguises this by being midly adversarial in his tone. But in truth this is yet another BBC green-creed homily.