While governments continue to negotiate themselves out of any action on the renewable energy front, the private sector is heating up with investments. New solar energy developments in North Africa have been widely written about, but many governmental backers have recently gotten cold feet and pulled out their funding. So, it’s encouraging to read a recent article in Britain’s Guardian newspaper trumpeting the positive advances that the electric car market is making in the UK – from both public and private sectors.
Although these alternatives to traditional automobiles are still in their infancy – at least in branding and design – it seems the ’Sales of electric cars in Britain are expected to double in 2013 as cheaper models enter the market and the number of charging points increases,’ according to the paper. And unlike the stalled actions in the solar power market, Britain’s government seems to be actively looking to increase charging points for owners of the vehicles.And perhaps most importantly, car companies like BMW are spicing up cars with better, sexier designs and marketing initiatives for consumers. According to Ben Lane, editor of nextgeencar.com, “Electric cars will become more stylish as BMW introduces its i3, followed by the larger i8 in 2014. “This will change the image of the electric car. It is completely connected to the Internet and beautifully designed,” said Lane.
America is also getting in on the action and companies like Tesla are designing cars that are able to ”run up to 300 miles on a single charge.” Many companies are also incentivising the use of electric cars and with the additional infrastructure, i.e. power points in place, this seems to be a burgeoning market, and potentially one that could wake up the moribund, and frankly boring, automotive industry. Now the challenge is to make these cars seem more than little toy boxes for consumers – the first manufacturer that can successfully make a sports car version with sex appeal, will undoubtedly walk away with a sizeable market share.