Nissan have developed a state-of-the-art electric car, the "Nissan Leaf", which uses as its motive power rechargeable lithium ion batteries. It will retail in England for about £28,000, and there will be a £5000 grant available for purchasers.
This is a remarkable new technology, and its day will come soon. The UK release date is Feb 2011.
One matter which has not been properly addressed, however, is sourcing the electrical energy required.
The Royal Academy of Engineering in a recent report pointed out that if all the cars in the country were suddenly made to run on electricity, another six nuclear power stations would need to be built.
Today, most of our electricity comes from fossil fuel. So if these cars become popular, we will have the strange situation that they will be running, effectively, on gas and coal.
The report concluded that converting to low emission power, such as nuclear, could greatly reduce the 'carbon footprint' of the UK.
Regular readers will be aware of this site's view on the carbon dioxide-global warming controversy. A lot has been written about the supposed link between carbon dioxide concentration and climate, and it is not proposed to add to it here.
However, a technology which increases the need for nuclear power in the UK is probably, on balance, to be welcomed.
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