Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Cars of the Future

Today's sustainable living day at Bede college in Billingham was a really good opportunity to share the importance of Fairtrade with students and staff - some good interesting discussions and very probing questions.  I did take a little time off from the stall though and try out an electric car.  Stockton Council has been carrying out trials on an electric car for a few months now - driving it about town and up to Newcastle and back.  All the information about mileage and speed and power consumption is fed back to the manufacturer to improve the next model.  As more charging points are springing up round the country it will become easier to drive further, topping up the charge over a lunch stop for instance.  Meanwhile they strike me as the ideal town car - if the first 6000 miles of driving cost £60 in electricity that seems to me a good deal cheaper than the petrol or diesel would be for that distance.
There's one drawback in my eyes, or should I say ears - they're verrrrrrry quiet!  As a driver it was hard to guess my speed because there's no engine sound to go by.  I realised just how much I use that sound to help me when driving.  In the electric car I had to keep checking the speedo!  And if it's so quiet for the driver - how does the pedestrian or the cyclist hear the car coming?  We might learn to be thankful for the drivers who play loud music if we have more electric cars on the road.

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