I think the Nissan Leaf is a step in the right direction, on account of being a zero emission electric car. Strictly speaking, ‘zero emission’ is incorrect, in that the electricity for powering the car does not come about without emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere through the production of electricity in the first place. The car itself does not emit CO2 or other pollutants, but the production of electricity for charging the car’s lithium ion batteries does – even so-called eco-friendly solar or wind powered generated electricity is not emission free, because of the manufacture of the solar panels and wind turbines.
Despite these drawbacks, the overall pollution brought about by the manufacture and use of electric vehicles must be less than their petroleum and diesel counterparts. The big practical disadvantage of electric vehicles is their limited range, as is the case with the Nissan Leaf, which at best can only achieve 100 miles on a full charge. Charging via a domestic circuit can take up to eight or nine hours. At public charging points the time is considerably reduced; it is claimed an eighty percent charge can be done in about thirty minutes.
Electric cars perform as well as petroleum and diesel cars with one exception, that’s their limited range of about 100 miles, and until that limitation has been overcome, they will never be as popular. Another disincentive for buying one is the cost: a Visia at £16,490, an Acenta at £18,490, and a Tekna at £20,490.
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