You could say electric cars have had a bad time recently, especially in the USA:
However, there has been plenty of positive news:
Some would argue that perhaps the 'experiment' of petrol-free driving has failed, but this may be oversimplifying the case. Yes, they can be expensive and tend to have a limited range. But one of the major problems faced by the companies trying to revamp the automotive industry has been mismanagement, and also the competition with regular cars.
Because of targets set by politicians, cars across the world have been getting greener - so electric cars may only form part of the solution to the environmental damage caused by automotive pollution. Indeed, the American model of state subsidies has been largely ignored in Europe, where overall emission standards are set and businesses are left to their own devices to work out how best to meet the required targets. Regular cars are getting greener and greener, meaning drivers don't have to go 100% electric in order to save the planet. (You can view our range of low-CO2 cars if you can't take our word for it!)
According to the Economist, “sadly, politicians see electric cars not as a means to a greener future but as an end in themselves.” This is true not just in America and the UK - Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has stated her aim to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020, but Germany appears to be far away from reaching this target. The Economist goes on to say “the odds are that pure electric cars, despite their slow start, will be part of tomorrow's cleaner traffic: they will just not be the whole answer.”
Many commentators see poor infrastructure as an issue, with a lack of charging stations - as well as access to off-road parking - possibly putting people off. The truth is, creating the right culture for widespread electric vehicle use will take more than just financial incentives and clever marketing.
Another problem is the cost of going green, but recent entries to the electric car market have tried to combat the issue of affordability by operating a different kind of payment scheme. Like a mobile phone contract, you can pay for the car - with help from the Government grant - and then lease the battery for roughly £70 a month. (You will also enjoy free road tax and lower running costs, so the cost of the car may be putting people off more than it ought to.)
See if you can go green for less than you might think: Arnold Clark has a range of electric vehicles on offer, such as the brand new Renault ZOE as well as various hybrid models. You can search our 100% electric vehicles by clicking below.