First Winner To Be Unreliable, Probably Dangerous, Unaffordable
Hybrids, Plug-Ins The Way Forward Not Batteries
“only exists to please politicians who see advantages to their careers from appearing to be green without bothering to check out the facts”
The Nissan Leaf, the battery-powered vehicle named European Car of the Year for 2011, is the first car to win the award despite being indisputably unreliable, and probably dangerous too.
The Leaf costs about twice as much as a car of its size and utility should, and in Britain will be “sold” with a £5,000 subsidy from the government.
The poor, deluded journalists who voted for it probably think it is green, but it isn’t. It is powered in most countries except France, with electricity generated by coal-fired power stations. These power stations regularly lose up to two thirds of the electricity generated by the time the power gets to the plug. A modern petrol engine, with its catalytic convertor, is just as clean. A new diesel with a particulate filter is almost there too.
Yet Nissan, in its statements to the media, regularly calls the leaf “zero emission”. That is a flat lie.
Unreliable? Nissan says and the award journalists parrot the er canard that the Leaf will achieve 100 miles on one battery charge. On a good day, driven by a gentle driver with the touch and feel of a brain surgeon, on a flat route with no passengers, no air conditioning or heating and no radio, maybe, if you’re lucky. Own this car and you will soon be stranded, that’s for sure.
Dangerous? What would you call a situation when a battery car is trying to get home with barely enough juice to make it, and is forced to potter along at 30 mph on a motorway with trucks being forced to overtake. Believe me, I’ve been through that with an Electric Mini on the M3.
It is hardly user friendly either to pedestrians and pet animals, who will be squashed in record numbers stepping out in front of these useless, expensive playthings .
Hybrids and plug-ins are the way forward, not this limited and expensive battery technology, which only exists to please politicians who see advantages to their careers from appearing to be green without bothering to check out the facts.
Neil Winton – November 30th, 2010
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