Governments play a role in paving way for electric vehicles

The op-ed by Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky (Promises won’t kill the combustion engine, July 31) sounds like a Luddite argument. He suggests that promises to ban all cars with combustion engines by Germany (2030), France and Great Britain (2040) may come to nothing, that research into electric vehicles (EV’s) will get nowhere, that the technology will be unaffordable and that the combustion engine will remain the car market’s mainstay.
This is what can be expected from the powerful pro-oil anti-climate change lobby in America. We have to ask why the accelerating move to EV (which he acknowledges) is happening world-wide. CO2 emissions cause climate change. Nobody doubts the scientific evidence of global warming any more. NOx (nitrogen oxide) from diesel vehicles can be linked to 38,000 premature deaths worldwide.
Whether it is the health of the planet or our own bodies, governments have to lead. Such issues cannot be left to consumer preference. Without government leadership in legislation and education, motorists will continue to stick with the engine they have known and loved for the last 100 years. Without government leadership to ban smoking in public places and to enforce wearing of seat belts, consumers would have remained apathetic to health and safety warnings and hundreds of thousands of lives would have been lost.
The times are changing faster than Mr. Bershidsky cares to admit. Volvo has announced that they will make no more petrol or diesel vehicles after 2019. Nissan forecast that there will be more EV charging stations than petrol stations in the UK by 2020. Shell and BP are scrambling to get on the bandwagon. Fortunately, the Cayman Government is playing its part with plans which include for zero duty on EV’s for a five-year period.
Graham Morse

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  1. The Cayman Islands would appear to be an ideal place to use an electric car as the limited range won’t matter.

    1. How would people who live in apartments and condos charge them?
    2. The electric power to charge them will increase demand on CUC. They will need to install more generators. Currently diesel powered. How does that help? Certainly one could use solar. But most people would want to charge their cars overnight, when there is no sun.
    3. Electric vehicles just don’t currently have the power to do the heavy lifting. Towing boats for example.
    4. The batteries used don’t last forever. And their manufacture and disposal is itself a cause of pollution.