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It drives like a dream… David Kennedy goes electric

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change recently took the new Renault Fluence for a test-drive….

“Our analysis suggests that electric cars will play a major role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – we think that it is both feasible and desirable that there are up to 1.7 million electric cars on the road here in the UK, by 2020.

But how do they compare to conventional cars when you are in the driving seat?

This month, I attended the Renault Roadshow to give some of the latest models a test-drive.

I have to be frank – I attended the event as an optimist.

And my optimism was borne out in practice as I drove the Renault Fluence on the streets around Russell Square. It is a beautiful vehicle, both from the outside and inside, and is great to drive, if slightly odd in that there is no engine noise. All in all, the driving experience was superior to that in my own Vauxhall Zafira.

In terms of vital statistics, the Renault Fluence has a range of 100 miles, and will cost the same as a conventional alternative. The battery will be leased to the car owner, and replaced if it is faulty. Renault will guarantee to buy back the car, and enrol you in a car club for longer journeys.

I will be queuing up to buy an electric car as new models come to market from Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi and others in the next several years.

But I and others will only be able to afford this if the Government maintains transitional price support through the Spending Review – this funding is crucial in developing a key technology for meeting carbon budgets, and to provide a future for the UK vehicle industry, and should be protected”.

To find out more about the role that electric cars could play as part of a low-carbon transport system, visit our website.