On the 14th of April the Watlington Climate Action Group invited some guests to explain Watlington’s transition to electric cars and how they would affect our future.
The first speaker, Niki, talked about her personal experience with electric cars and how they improved her daily commute. Working from the other side of Oxford and having children who go to school in the city center, it often took more than an hour for her to get to work. Electric vehicles are licensed to drive through the city center whereas a normal car is prohibited from doing so. This made the commute faster and easier. Niki also spoke about how electric cars have so much variety despite being a very new concept. This meant that Niki found it just as easy to find a new car based on their range (how far they can drive in a single charge) size and cost. Niki also said how despite electric cars being more expensive to purchase, in the long run they are a cheaper alternative because you do not have to pay for fuel and there are less maintenance issues.
Dave Parkes spoke about how Watlington was introducing charge points in the Watlington Club overflow car park for those people who live on Couching Street, the High Street, Brook Street or who do not have garages or driveways which can install a charge point. The project is making great progress and electrics are already in place. Depending on battery size it will take an hour for 20 – 30 miles of driving depending on the battery which is why a parking/charging package is included. Once the chargers are installed, Watlington will be EV ready!
Anthony Simpson was here to talk about electric vehicles and teach us how they affect the climate. Anthony has been very involved in climate change and since 2008 he has stopped flying to holiday locations and using petrol/diesel cars. Despite what you might think, Anthony told us that it is not factories and power plants that are contributing the most to the climate, but it is, in fact, transport. SUVs are the world’s second largest contributor to carbon emissions from 2010 – 2018 and it is proven that the larger the car, the less efficient it is. Air pollution has contributed to 65,000 deaths in the UK and 8.8 million worldwide which gives more reason to make the switch to electric. You may be thinking that electric cars have to have some faults, but no! The batteries are becoming more and more sustainable and the latest battery models contain no cobalt and so little mining has to be done. Batteries are also becoming cheaper, you may still be thinking that electric cars are too expensive, but modern science and engineering has made batteries cheaper to produce. Producers are dedicating more time and effort to their electric vehicles and some companies are investing money into their cars in order to give the best performance. The government are so keen to get people buying electric vehicles that they have lowered taxation dramatically compared to diesel and petrol cars.
Oxfordshire is going to be one of the first counties in the UK to make the switch to electric vehicles - central Oxford goes zero emission in the Autumn. We as a Town already have positive and progressive plans to promote electric cars – let’s drive this forward!
Author: Lawrence Dew