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Do androids dream of electric cars?

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.


The Government is cracking on with cracking down on pollution by following the example set by the French (there’s a phrase you don’t write everyday) and banning the sale of new petrol and diesel powered vehicles from 2040. Scary as it seems, that’s only 13 years away!!

Clearly, this refers to new vehicles, so those of us who will still be driving round in old bangers will still be able to do so until general wear and tear gradually phases them out of our lives.

Good thing too, really, as a sudden blanket ban, forcing all drivers to switch to electric could be interesting. Imagine the chaos and Health & Safety issues when people who don’t have a garage or off road parking have cables strewn across the pavements (and maybe half a mile down the road to where the nearest parking space was when they came home).

Also where is all of the extra electricity going to come from? If, as we are being told, the power stations and the national grid are already running to full capacity?

Will the local oiks in 2040 be cutting and nicking all of these copper cables, and where is all of the copper needed to make them going to come from anyway? And come to that, where is the lithium needed for the batteries going to come from? And what about the environmental damage that is caused by copper and lithium mining?

What will happen when 100s of people get stuck on the motorway in winter when the (less efficient in cold weather) batteries are unexpectedly flattened by heaters and lights? Will the AA/RAC have electric vehicles too? If so how will they cope with towing 3 ton cars to the nearest (available) chargers?

What happens if the chargers are all in use when you get to where you’re going and don’t have enough power to get back home? Will there be queues of people pushing their 3 ton battery cars looking for an unoccupied charging space? Will there be ‘charging rage’ with people fighting in the streets over who’s turn it is next?

But it’s OK, guys. It will all turn out fine. After all, when did the Government ever promise us something that they couldn’t deliver and that they had no idea how to make work? …..Oh.


About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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