Letter to the Editor: No doubt readers will agree that, theoretically, electric vehicles (EVs) can be claimed to be the best thing since sliced bread, and a significant answer to atmospheric pollution. But as with many things in life, the practicality cannot match the theory due to various reasons. Such as the unavoidable necessity for a very large battery which requires significant time to charge, and relies on earth resources in its construction. Apart from depending on the necessary charging infrastructure, reliable and adequate power sources for charging are vital. It is also frightening in the event of fire possibly due to a traffic accident as Lithium-Ion batteries once on fire are impossible to extinguish due to the nature of their technology. It is also challenging how an EV will cope in flood water – water and electricity do not make good bed fellows. Disturbingly there is still a very large elephant in the room that people fail to recognise and goes by the name of WEIGHT! Indeed, I very much doubt if that nice sales person in the EV showroom will even mention this fact - they will hardly volunteer that the British Parking Association (BPA) wants local authorities to conduct urgent structural surveys on the nation’s 6,000 multi-storey and underground parking facilities, which were built to guidance on the weight of popular cars of 1976. Electric cars are nearly twice as heavy (weighing nearly two tons) as standard fossil-fuel cars, and as such the collective weight (loading) could have the potential to cause a multi-story car park to collapse just like a house of cards. The reason EVs are so heavy is simply because of the very large battery needed coupled with the reinforced framework and suspension required to accommodate the battery. But of course it will not only be car parks that will be of concern, as there are numerous bridges across the country - not to overlook the many road surfaces that will have to bear the forces of the EV – pot holes will surely become deeper and more numerous unless a meaningful road strengthening and maintenance programme is introduced. Thus will the mad rush for EVs shatter the dream of a low polluting road traffic scenario – time will tell dear reader, and unfortunately our politicians do not have a clue. Have a Happy New Year.

Dave Haskell