The tale of the electric BMW owner who is forced to charge his car through an open first floor window, having installed a car park charging point without permission from the landlord has provoked strong reactions. Firstly, for installing a charging point on someone else’s property and secondly, for being all sanctimonious regarding the thwarting of his one-man “green” crusade.
Further hilarity followed about BMW drivers generally. But the almost comical sight of an extension lead hanging out of a bedroom window to charge a car raises more serious issues. This country is simply not ready for a headlong rush into EV ownership. Apart from questions of the capacity for generating sufficient electricity to avoid blackouts, there simply aren’t anywhere near enough charging points and for people living in flats and apartments, like our hapless hero, there simply isn’t the will or ability to fit them.
The Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) website says there are currently just 360 electric vehicle chargers in the whole of Greater Manchester, which, without a personal charging point, must be stretching the practicality of owning a supposedly “green” vehicle even now.
Those renting or living in communal buildings, however, are finding that obtaining landlord permissions can be challenging. With the increasing proliferation of these little boxes for people to live in, this is a problem that is only going to get worse.
There is nothing wrong with introducing a new product to the market, but are these vehicles the true answer to pollution or do they simply move the problem out of Western cities and into the countries where lithium is sourced? Maybe it is, but there is also the issue that batteries do not generate electricity, merely store it. Electricity then has to be generated by oil, gas, coal, nuclear, or water, along with a fraction of wind and solar.
Having brought that product to the market, it is absolutely wrong of a posturing government to force it on the public, despite substantial questions being asked about their practicality or sustainability. Indeed, it is wrong of a government to force a product’s use regardless. Let the market be the judge. It will give a far fairer verdict than any politician.
Martin Day – Party Secretary