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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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How to make F1 electrifying

Could Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton be the new Mr Bean? I only ask because they could soon be behind the wheel of something the bumbling comedy character might drive.

Electric cars, as an idea, are a good thing. I’m sure we all agree on that.

But in reality they look like they could be blown over in a breeze and should be driven by Mr Bean.

The names don’t help – Leaf isn’t exactly the most dynamic-sounding name is it?

Even the Prius sounds like some medical condition.

But more and more big-name car producers are finally joining the race to produce an electric-powered vehicle, with Renault, Mitsubishi and Citroen all expected to wheel out their own versions later this year.

And now the European Commission is trying to drive up demand for these vehicles, by making them more sexy and appealing.

So it has asked Formula One’s governing body to set up a racing championship series for electric cars.

According to the Financial Times, Jean Todt, president of F1’s governing body, is working with commissioners to create new electric car, go-kart and single-seater racing categories which could lead to an F1-style electric car championship on Grand Prix circuits.

I though that was called Scalextric?

The biggest encouragement to switch to electric cars is being provided by petrol suppliers themselves. As the price of fossil fuels continues into the stratosphere, it becomes cheaper and more appealing to go electric.

Although they are more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel vehicles, you can claim a £5,000 purchase grant from the Government.

And with petrol prices around £1.30 a litre for unleaded, it costs around £2,000 to drive 2,000 miles in a car which does eight miles to the litre.

Covering those miles in an electric car will cost just £270 – and there’s no road tax to pay!

So in a few years time we could well see Jenson and Lewis and others trundling along quietly, I just hope that when they go abroad they remember their plug adaptors, I always forget mine on holiday.

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