Electric Cars Revisited

Posted by Charlie on 31 March, 2011

Petrol prices continue to soar: will the electric car finally ‘take off’?

Indian car manufacturer Tata has started the production of electric cars in the UK city of Coventry. This is good news for the local economy; it may also be good news for environmentalists. The factory has a production capacity of 1,500 Vista models per year. Each electric car has a range of 120 miles, and costs over £25,000. A government subsidy could save customers £5,000 on the price; will this attract people to place orders?

The announcement from Tata coincides with EU plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars from city centres by 2050. According to the EU, this controversial measure will reduce carbon emissions by 60%. Not surprisingly, the UK is rejecting these plans. Many people believe that individual motorists should not have to reduce mobility in order to cut pollution.

Meanwhile, the motorist continues to suffer at the pumps. UK petrol prices have reached an all-time high. It is not surprising that the demand for plug-in electric cars is expected to rise. The cost of battery technology, which makes these cars so expensive, is expected to fall. Many car manufacturers are developing environmentally friendly cars; more and more of them are coming to believe that electric cars will become an integral part of their product range.

Some areas you may wish to explore with your business English students are:

  • What’s happening to petrol prices in their country?
  • Would they consider buying an electric car?
  • Do they think petrol and diesel cars should be banned from city centres?

We do sometimes smile at the thought of electric cars. As oil prices spiral, and with environmental concerns growing, maybe we will see many more of them in the future.

Pete Sharma

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