Emission-free motoring

* Mayor of London talks * Electric cars are the future * Thousands of charging points planned...

Emission-free motoring

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, explains why electric cars are the future of motoring especially in the capital.

The electric car is going to revolutionise the way we drive, and I am gearing up to make these eco-friendly, fuel bill-busting vehicles an easier choice for motorists in London.

My own Damascene moment came when I took the Californian-made Tesla out for a test spin. I found to my delight that it has more grunt off the blocks than a Ferrari Maranello and the same acceleration as a Porsche 911, in that it can go from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds.

Emission-free motoring
But in a marvel of automotive engineering, and the reason for this technology being heralded as the future of motoring, electric cars like this have no exhaust pipe. They have no carburettor, and no fuel tank. And while every other car around me was filling the air with fumes and particulates, this car was producing no more noxious vapours than a dandelion in an alpine meadow.

Yes, this is innocent motoring with the added advantage of having no dependence on foreign oil, and electric cars have now reached a point of development where they are in serious competition with conventional machines. With zero tailpipe pollution, these vehicles have the serious potential to deliver spectacular reductions in emissions, making life far more pleasant in our cities.

Batteries are becoming ever smaller and the price of the cars is coming down; and even in the Tesla, a high-performance sports car, you can drive 200 miles for the price of a cup of coffee, and then just plug it into recharge. Imagine the lagoon of petrol you buy over the lifetime of the internal combustion engine, and think of the saving you make by going electric.