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8:10am Thursday 17th May 2012 in Leader
If people are to be persuaded to alter their travel habits then it is essential that everything possible is done to make that change as easy as possible.
So we welcome the announcement of an increase in the number of charging points being provided around Oxford for electric cars.
At present, electric cars are expensive to buy, but, as with any new technology, their price is likely to fall as demand increases.
Possibly the main deterrent to drivers investing in an electric vehicle, apart from the initial cost, is so-called ‘range anxiety’ — a completely understandable concern about running out of power in a place where there is no charging point.
The news this week should help to allay those fears, as by next year there should be about 110 charging points within the city and 100 further afield in the county. That should encourage more people to make the move to electric power, at least for city travel.
It will be interesting to see if our local authorities, the NHS, universities, and larger businesses, who all run sizeable vehicle fleets, are willing to make a wholesale switch to electrically-powered vehicles, or whether the economic arguments are still not entirely persuasive.
Whether or not electric vehicles are the real solution to future travel remains to be seen, but investment in an infrastructure that supports their use can only be good news.