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How Big Oil will stop my children from driving electric cars

A lot of money is at stake: if we all switched to electric, oil companies would stand to lose everything

I would like an electric car. It would be quieter, nicer to drive and cheaper to run than my petrol car, and it could produce up to 75% less CO2. But the chances are I am not going to get one, and nor will my children when they grow up.

One reason is that the Department for Transport can no longer afford to help me buy one. The government has allocated £43m to subsidise ultra-low-carbon cars, but at £5,000 a car that's only enough to help the first few thousand of us who switch over. So whether or not I end up with an electric car doesn't have a great deal to do with consumer subsidies.

Instead, the issue for the government to think about is refuelling. Not how to refuel an electric car, as the standards are already emerging for that, but where? At present, we fill up our cars at petrol stations where we are customers of the oil industry. But with electric cars, we would charge our batteries at home, probably on a low-cost, overnight rate. We would pay through our existing utility bills, and we might never go to petrol stations again.


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