February 17th, 2014 Posted in Canada & Beyond | No Comments »
Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars, And Green Cars
Although the United Kingdom has often been pointed out by environmentalists as a country that “could do better” in terms of green initiatives, it does have a not insignificant Green movement, including a party which has tended to poll in fourth place in recent elections behind Britain’s “Big Three” parties. It may be in recognition of the green movement’s efforts that the governing Labour party has hit on its latest initiative – a plan to subsidize motorists who buy electric cars.
Although there have been similar initiatives elsewhere in the world, this is the most eye-catching effort yet by a United Kingdom government to put green issues at the heart of the agenda. Aware that there will always be some sections of society who will continue to ask “Why should I?” even after being shown several reasons why something will help the world, the people behind the latest plan are accepting that sometimes, people need personal incentives to do something good. In addition to this, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has earmarked the initiative as something that may help economic recovery.
With much of the world still struggling to unpick the economic mess in which the credit crunch has left us, there had been some fear that in a rush for expediency the major world governments would forget their green principles and prioritize economic recovery by any means necessary. According to Mr Brown, the situation is not an either/or matter. Economic recovery and environmental protection can go hand in hand, if addressed in the right way. In Mr Brown’s own words, the idea is that this plan can be a “job creator, a quality of life improver and an environment enhancing measure.”
The finer details of the plan are still being worked out and at this stage it remains uncertain how the plan would be put in to practice – whether by offering to pay some of the price of the car at the point of sale, or by offering buyers the chance to apply to the Government for a cash back payment after the car has been bought. The Government’s contribution per motorist would, it seems, be capped at £2,000 (Ca$3,600), which amounts to a quarter of the cost of one of the cheaper electric cars available in the UK at the moment.
As things stand, even with an ambitious and hard-working green movement, the uptake of electric cars in the UK has so far been slow. Along with a general lack of environmental awareness, reasons for this are believed to be an absence of recharge points where the cars can be powered up, and comparatively higher prices when compared to conventionally fuelled vehicles. With the latter hopefully being counteracted somewhat by the government, it remains a question of keeping electric vehicles in the public mindset and making it easier to recharge them – the latter being a point under consideration from London’s Mayor Boris Johnson. The Mayor has this week pledged to deliver 25,000 charging spaces in the nation’s capital in order to get more of the vehicles on the roads.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Thegreenlivingblog.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Apr 11, 2009.
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