I did write to our MP in mid February about this subject and as yet have received no reply, but I do support this aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels, but also hope it applies to electricity generation and central heating as well. It is a massive undertaking and just road vehicles will not be enough.
However, there seems to me to be serious issues when it comes to just having electric cars and delivery vans. Lorries will probably have their own transport depots where they can be charged overnight but, just dealing with cars, I wonder how it is intended to manage the following points:
i) There will have to be a dramatic increase in charging points all over the country. Electric cars cannot travel that far and a journey to Scotland or parts of Wales and northern England will not be possible with just one charge. These charging points need to be as frequent as petrol stations are now and also be fast charging.
ii) In historic towns like Rye, and most residential areas within cities, there is on street parking. How are people to charge up overnight? Trailing cables across pavements would not be acceptable would they? Visitors to Rye – how would they charge up as they shop or eat before returning home? We would need charging points within all the car parks and on the street.
In residential areas where cars have to be parked overnight on the street will there be one point per house? In such areas what about people in flats? It will need a huge investment in infrastructure. I have not heard anything about how this is to be financed, or maybe I have missed this announcement.
iii) Many of us in Rye have lock-up garages, are we to install electricity? The answer seems to be, yes. If so who pays? Is it the electricity companies, the government or individuals? It will probably be a mix, but it needs thinking about now, because 2035 is only fifteen years away.
iv) To cope with this increase in electricity usage we will need to increase electricity generation and at the moment we run with almost no spare capacity. This was seen a few years ago when one failure led to power cuts because the capacity for extra power was not there.
At present, I believe, the government is sanctioning gas fired power stations, whilst having cut back support for wind and solar power. This seems very contradictory.
This is a laudable aim, but I see no real strategic planning: is it window dressing? Gas powered central heating is used in the vast majority of homes, and to change this will be difficult and take time. I remember when the country changed from town to natural gas. It was a massive investment and took several years.
Fossil fuels for vehicles are only part of the picture but even this has implications for historic small towns like Rye, with the charging points for both residents and visitors. CPE (Civil Parking Enforcement) has raised the issue of the pay points, and now we will have to manage charging points.
I think we need to start thinking and planning this now, or will it be left until the last few years, or just quietly dropped?
Image Credits: MikesPhotos / Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/electric-car-car-electric-vehicle-1458836/.