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Electric cars: the saviour of the automotive industry?

By: Elizabeth Smythe
01 February 2011

The image of future transport predicted in film and cartoons may be of domestic flying saucers, but it would appear we are a little way off just yet and motorists will have to settle for the electric car instead.  

In an article published today, Business Review Europe claims that appetite and curiosity for the electric car could not only transform, but initiate recovery in the automotive industry - with engineers expecting that by 2014 there will be more electric cars on British roads. Plus, an increase in production will result in employment opportunities, and the need for specific driver training.

GfK Automotive questioned over 5,000 people, according to, of whom 1.8% said they would buy an electric car. Working on the assumption that they each bought a Nissan Leaf, this would equate to a spend of some £7 billion. 

This comes after news that 53% are considering deflecting from petrol or diesel-run vehicles, following the government's grant scheme - which can see Brits receive up to £5,000 toward a plug-in motor.

Mitsubishi told the BBC that their electric car costs just £2.90 to recharge; totalling around £270 for a journey of 12,000 miles. They claim that their electric car can drive 93 miles on a full charge, which is great for cruising around town, but not for long journeys.

In their survey, GfK Automotive found that a whopping seven in ten people have what's known as 'range anxiety' - a concern about how far an electric car can go. In addition, recharge points are currently few and far between, something that needs to be addressed.

A spokesman for GfK Automotive said: "With so many people on the verge of going electric, the government, manufacturers and energy suppliers need to grasp the nettle and address people's concerns."

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