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Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, on the rise of electric vehicles

23 May 2011
Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, on the rise of electric vehicles

Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, The Climate Group, comments on the increasing praise for EVs in global media and the positive effect it is having on the electric vehicle market. 

The future transport world has punctually arrived. Global media is buzzing with EVs’ good news, and with it, EV development is on the rise.

Take for examples, The Sunday Times’ piece on EVs prospering in the UK and how low cost they are to run compared with conventional vehicles, the Independent’s story on electric vehicle charger numbers being set to explode in Europe (as well as in the US) or CNN’s interview with Bill Ford on hybrids’ flourishing future.

At the same time, the low carbon automotive market is brimming with exciting, game-changing products and policy, like Jaguar and William F1’s proposed hybrid supercar, or the German Government’s additional 1 billion euros in support of electric vehicle research. These iconic products will ensure that 'desirability' and 'EVs' are always found in the same sentence.

All this good news in the press inspires confidence in the influential people at the helm of EVs' growth; it takes governments with conviction and overriding ambition to pioneer these changes, and support our society’s drive to a world of transport that is better than today's.

Also in the driving seat of change are the impressive business people I now see populating conferences, discussing the electrification of transport and how their companies intend to be an important part of it.

At a recent UK SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders) EV meeting driven by one of our leading EV practitioners Catherine Hutt, the belief required for this change was clear from the enthusiastic input from auto manufacturers, component suppliers, energy companies, leading cities and technology providers alike.  

Yet just a few months ago several press sources claimed there was ‘no charging infrastructure available’ (now we see ‘too much’!).

As we move ahead, it's inevitable that we'll have these debates.

But if we look at the big picture rather than the short term noise such as whether we have too much - or too little - public charging infrastructure, we see that the obvious direction of travel must be clean energy

Opportunities for making long term money in a low carbon economy are vast. Just look at the calibre of banks, amount of venture capital money and number of governments that are pursuing their part in the Clean Revolution.

Through EVs’ growing presence in both the media and industry, consumers are exposed to the electrification of transport as a low cost solution to climate change. As the economic sense of EVs encourages their rapid take-up, infrastructure is utilized and governments’ initiatives are taken on board.

EVs offer an exciting opportunity, as the emerging Clean Revolution accelerates a world where we can enjoy a low carbon life and prosper.

Increasing good news is just the tip of the EV iceberg, as the intelligent money is fast heading down the road of an electric vehicle future. Negativity from some parts of society resisting change is inevitable, but society has changed - for the most part positively - throughout history, and I don’t see it stopping now.

See the work The Climate Group is doing within the EV sector.

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