It feels as though we’re just about to witness the birth of the electric car movement.  Suddenly there are a growing number of options and offers, for buying or leasing these super quiet, nippy little city hoppers.  It’s now possible to obtain your own corporate Peugeot iOn on HP for around £150/month, with no tax (www.neva-consultants.com) so you can be forgiven for wondering why we aren’t all flocking to get one.

Like many SMEs, Conscious Communications works from managed offices.  We benefit from the support and infrastructure of the team which provides everything from our telephone answering service to our car parking.  There is, however, one minor draw back that we’ve now discovered.  We have no electric car charging point and, with limited car parking, no immediate prospect of one being installed.  So, for us, the options are limited to charging our electric car at one of the few charging points in town, or driving the car home each night to charge it for the following day.

For now, while we wait for a response from the owners of the business park, we comfort ourselves with the latest news that a network of ‘rapid charging points’ is to be installed in motorway service stations across the country (http://bit.ly/QC0by2), allowing owners to recharge in just 15 minutes – less time than the take-away cappuccino queue. If this goes ahead, by the time we eventually find a way to make an electric car practical and feasible for our company, we’ll be able to use it for longer distances, travelling to and from client meetings up and down the country.  This would certainly change the outlook for and fortune of people currently living within hearing distance of our motorways – silent motorways, quite a concept!

But, before we get carried away with this thought, there’s a set-back.  We read last week about a new study undertaken by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (http://on.wsj.com/Rfiyt4), which seems to show that electric cars may cause more pollution than petrol or diesel-powered cars.  The research looks at the complete life-cycle: how the cars are produced, the use and the end of life dismantling, and concludes that “the global warming potential for electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles”.

So, for now, we revert to our traditional Cambridge peddle power and hold out for the arrival of a new generation of solar powered electric cars. 

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