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Friday, December 05, 2008

My friends electric

I had a fascinating visit this morning to Port Talbot car-maker Stevens Vehicles today to see their range of zero-emissions vehicles for myself.

The cost of fuel may be falling at the moment, but it remains clear that controlling climate change will require organisations and individuals to switch to sustainable vehicles more and more; particularly for short journeys around town.

That is why I wanted to visit Stevens Vehicles to see their range of electric cars and vans. With orders from Scotland, the Falkland Islands and from Neath Port Talbot Council, it is clear that interest in their vehicles is rising.

As most of the journeys we take are within 12 miles of our homes, cars and vans like those that Stevens make, which can go all day and then be recharged through a normal 13 amp plug overnight are making a vital contribution to combating climate change. The car even has a top speed of 56 mph.

What is needed to ensure that this vital industry lifts off in Wales is help with marketing, and for companies like Stevens Vehicles to be given access to the funds they need to be able to sell to the big fleet operators.
Good luck to these Car makers locally at Port Talbot. I sincerely hope they have great success. No doubt they will keep the air cleaner in the immediate streets they travel. However, there's always a snag. The batteries they use have to be charged. Does this Factory have a NON Carbon source of electric to charge the batteries? Most probably not. Even if they have signed up for so called "Green" Electricity, the electric in the mains grid is nearly all majority fossil fuel produced power - so these vehicles are definetly not carbon free energy powered. The trouble is that most of our Wales Assembly Politicians are obsessed with being keeen to be seen to be green. Last week Minister Jane Davidson was talking about all new buildings in Wales being Carbon Free by year 2011 in 26 months time, and the Carbon Free house has yet to be invented and may never be invented unless we go and live in tents made from natural fibres and become self sufficient in a world with a population of what it was a thousand years ago burning logs and eating home produced meat and mangolds. Let's get real and speak the truth, not weasel words like Jane Davidson.
It's certainly a step in the right direction, but Zero emissions?

The electricity has to be generated some way, and if this means using fossil fuels then it's not exactly zero emissions.

We should also be looking at electric trams, as per your fellow councillor Rob Spelt has a passion for.

Work wonderfully in San Francisco, where they have a combination of trams and cable cars (cable running under the roads that the cars "pick up" and get towed along).
this is just the type of Welsh business the Assembly want to be putting on its brochures attracting international business to Wales. Should be proud that electric vehicles are being produced in Wales.
lets hope car drivers can embrace
these electric vehicles in th futur in Wales, getting away from the more money than brains way of buying massive 4 by 4's that do not fit into parkingt lots.
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