back to article Blighty’s barmy for e-cars, poll discovers

British folks are plain crazy about leccy cars, according to an RAC poll. The survey – based on 1000 motorists’ answers – summarised that roughly 6.7m of Britain’s drivers are considering buying a vehicle powered solely by batteries at some point during the next five years. And the figure doesn't sound unreasonable, because a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    lol wut

    Where did they take their sample from? The annual environazi convention?

  2. AC

    you can have ur leccy crap

    I'll stick to my noisy, supposedly environment destroying Focus ST thanks.

    I can see a problem arising though with leccy cars, two in fact. At the minute they are exempt from VED and they don't use petrol. That's two massive taxes the government want to throw away. I'd love to hear how they plan to fill that void.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Their survey of 1000

    that live in a city, with good infrastructure and short comutes were asked a question

    "If electric cars were the same price as petrol and you could get electric from anywhere and the cost to run was less and you are blisfully unware of the techincal shortfalls. Would you buy an electric car in the next five years?"

    My Question

    "Given the higher costs of electric vehicles, the lack of charging points, the lower speeds and the inabilty to travel to your parents house, go on holidays or even do a business trip coupled with the inabilty to recharge with a fuel can, should you get caught out, would you want a leccy car in the next 5 years?"

    Lies, Dammed Lies and Statistics

  4. Vision Aforethought

    A great example of market forces over law

    The gov's scrappage plan, while well meaning, only attracted 35,000 takers (so far), however, with innovators such as Tesla and others offering appealing leccy vehicles, the people are obviously willing to speak/vote with their wallets, no politics required. The greatest immediate benefit of leccy vehicles will be the reduction in local particulate and noise pollution - as anyone who lives near a road can testify too! Great for children whose bodies are being flooded with muck from birth thanks to our reliance on carbon fuels, plastics and useless drugs.

    Finally, after all this time, change is in the air! Happy times.

  5. EvilGav

    Considering ?

    Well that's good - i'm considering buying a Pagani Zonda, cant afford it, have no idea if I ever would be able to, but i'm definitely considering it.

    Pointless bloody statistic.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    hope we'll have alot of new powerstations by 2017 then, or will the government to be just be going on a wing and a prayer fuelling the e-car revolution with cheap gas turbines?

  7. EC

    Charged by...

    All charged by a national grid which loses the majority (64% by memory) of the power between the powerstation and the socket.......

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Gets my vote

    Petrol tax is about the same as the cost of replacing a worn out battery. There is a limit to the amount of environmental damage that dead batteries will do, but I can see no limit to the damage caused by government spending.

  9. michael

    1000 pepol

    and they recon there is a demand for 6.3m!

    did every boady who was asked say "yer I want on and so does everybaody I know?"

    oh wate it is one of those stats things where you take a small unrepresentative study and then scale it up

  10. Martin Lyne

    The comments thus far..

    ..seem to be the typical inexplicibly-averse-to-new-technologies-that's-probably-eco-guilt-projecting-as-macho-esque-anger.

    I'm one of the people that'd want their first car to be electric. We can make electricity carriage more efficient (HVDC power lines) and batteries and motors inevitably.

    Can you make diesel or petrol? Oh.

  11. Dave
    Paris Hilton


    I'm guessing the sample all live in inner london, and are aware of the implications with regard to the 'Congestion Charge".

    It would be interesting to see what happens to that if the majority do manage to buy electric cars, and get to drive around the centre for free.

    On a similar line to other people, I would have to point out that I am 'considering' a liaison with Ms Hilton...

  12. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    There is a difference between

    what you want and what you get.

    6.3 Million want electric cars? So what!

    I want one too. I want one that does 0..60 in under 10 seconds, has a top speed of >90mph, cruises comfortably at 70mph+, comfortably seats 4 plus luggage, has a 4*+ NCAP rating, recharges in 10 mins or less and costs under £15000.

    i.e a direct replacement for my current fossil-burner.

    What you actually get is a plastic bug that can barely hit 50mph, runs out of juice after 50 miles, seats 2 (uncomfortably), has bugger-all luggage space, uses you legs as the crumple zone, takes all night to recharge and *still* costs £15k.

    My point is that asking if people want X is pointless unless they know what X is. Ask people if they would like a new house for £50 and most will say yes. Tell 'em its from Toys 'R' Us..........

  13. Gary F
    Thumb Down

    Stupid people

    Mains powered vehicles generate twice as much CO2 as a normal petrol vehicle. The government's own figures show that electricity generated for the national grid produces twice as much CO2 per unit of energy.

    Until electric vehicles can obtain their energy from sources other than the national grid (which is mostly fossil based fuels) then "e-cars" are the LEAST green options on the planet for the above reason. What's in it for the press and RAC to miss-sell the so-called benefits of e-cars? Don't sell out the planet for a story.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I like my Milk float!

    There used to be lots of electric vehicles and there still are some but they don't travel far or fast - in general.

    As other posters have noted. It's a crap survey intended to serve a purpose - what that was I'm not sure. Elec cars have a place, just not yet on the road.

  15. Martin

    @AC 10:25

    Sir, as a fellow ST driver I have to congratulate you on your superb choice of car. However, if they came up with a leccy version as fast as the ST, costing substantially less than the current £0.16/mile to run, I for one would jump on it.

    Oh, and the government is planning to replace the petrol revenue with Road Pricing; up to £1.34/mile with the added bonus of Orwellian GPS tracking of all. Even though 1,800,000 people said 'NO'.

  16. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Me! Me!

    I'd take one in a heartbeat. Except that:

    a) I don't have a garage, so I need charging points in my london borough.

    b) it needs to include a petrol generator to charge the battery white driving as a fallback, so I can go more than 100 miles and can visit places without plug sockets.

    b) I don't want it to look as goddamn ugly as a prius.

    c) Soft top please - once you've gone cabrio, you never go back.

    But I doubt the RAC asked anything useful like that.

  17. EC

    Not a reactionary

    I'm not sure about this electric car business as a green idea - the only way I know of reliably cutting my transport emissions is by sharing the driving with two colleagues. It's not glamorous, it has no IT angle, but it works.

    And when I'm rich maybe I'll get a Tesla for playing on B roads at the weekend.

  18. AC
    Thumb Up

    @Martin 12:57

    I hope to see you over at then? I'm already there ... (;

    I don't think I'd buy a leccy ST unless it was just so much cheaper I'd be silly not to, but if the costs are comparable then I'll stick to burning petrol. There's plenty of petrol stations to keep me going but no charge points where a leccy car would be charged in 5 minutes (to name but one issue).

    I don't expect it to get any better in 5 years time. In fact, I expect leccy tech to fail miserably and that hydrogen will be the tech to take us forward.


  19. Alex C


    Even though we don't know a lot about the specific questions asked we can still surmise a couple of things.

    First this was a questionnaire based on stopping people and asking them.

    Clearly then people with plenty of time on their hands - not in a hurry as it were.

    These people are a lot more likely to put up with the failings of a leccy car, and are willing to buy.

    Personally I'm happy on public transport most of the time and on a Streetcar (car club) the dozen or so times a year that I actually need a car. (Though if I didn't live in town that'd certainly change.)

  20. spam

    plain crazy

    "are considering buying a vehicle powered solely by batteries at some point during the next five years"

    I considered it and came to the conclusion I won't because they are all completely crap - does that make me crazy about e-cars?

  21. DRendar

    @EC, @Gary F

    It seems the latest craze of the serial "find some little thing wrong with electric vehicles" brigade is the ~40% efficiency of our national grid to the socket in the home, binging such statements as:


    Charged by... By EC Posted Monday 1st June 2009 11:00 GMT

    All charged by a national grid which loses the majority (64% by memory) of the power between the powerstation and the socket.......


    Stupid people By Gary F Posted Monday 1st June 2009 12:19 GMT

    Mains powered vehicles generate twice as much CO2 as a normal petrol vehicle......



    You aren't comparing Apples to Apples.

    EV's convert 80-85% of the electricity that they take in into motive force. Even taking losses through the National grid into account that's still 30-35% efficient.

    ICE powered cars only convert about 15-20% of the energy stored in petrol / diesel into motive force.

    So EVs are actually about TWICE as efficient.

  22. Danny Thompson
    Thumb Up


    There has got to be change - the petrolheads of course will have none of it. But they're barking at the moon. The change is coming, like it or not. It has to.

    The logistics of delivering suitable power distribution points into the street are enormous, but not insurmountable. The current technology is still at a very early stage, but advancing rapidly to the point where in a few years it would be reasonable to anticipate EVs able to take on their petrol/diesel counterparts head to head. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that.

    Today's tech for EVs is advanced enough to make sense in a journey radius of around 50 miles, which seems ridiculous by comparison with petrol vehicles. But that radius is suitable for a significant amount of road miles such as the school run, local distribution and commuting.

    The efficiencies of EV over petrol/diesel are well known and provable, but distorted by the "No" lobby. The economics do a lot better than balance out - my own EV has a financial break-even of 1.2 years against the vehicle it replaced, which I am about to realise in the next 3 months. Provable, no statistics, no supposition, no guesswork. It copes with my 26-mile each way commute, it makes progress with traffic on urban and suburban roads including dual carriageways. In practical terms there are no sustainable arguments against the use of the EV for the commute.

    I applaud the official rhetoric in favour of EV - but I also despair at our ability to deliver to it. This nation seems to have lost the ability to actually deliver. But one lives in hope.

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