While he has a reputation in the U.S. for changing markets, for attracting controversy, and for having a focused and uncompromised business plan, it seems that the UK government is on the verge of announcing a major breakthrough in partnership with Elon Musk. We have seen a number of discrete rumours appearing in the UK press over the last few days suggesting that the billionaire chief executive of Tesla Motors has been working closely with the UK government about the installation of superfast electric vehicle chargers.
If the rumours are correct, and we should receive confirmation in the short term, a number of these superchargers are ready to be announced and opened on some of the U.K.'s busiest motorways. So what can we expect from these new superchargers and is this a sign of things to come in the UK?
Superfast charging technology
While many of Tesla's electric vehicle competitors continue to bicker, flounder, and are unable to agree on a standard format going forward, Tesla has ploughed on with its own individual technology. This new supercharger will allow Tesla vehicles to be fully recharged in just 20 minutes which is but a fraction of the time taken under the old technology. The fact that recharging stations will be available up-and-down the U.K.'s major motorways will increase the number of long journeys using electric vehicles and also reduce journey anxiety.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "When do you expect to see full EV market penetration?"
We have the vehicles and we have the finance in place, all that was missing was an affordable, reliable electric vehicle recharging network. If the Elon Musk stories are correct then the UK electric vehicle market could be on the verge of a major breakthrough.
Are electric vehicles viable in the UK?
Sceptics will have you believe that electric vehicles will never make it to the mass market, will never be accepted by the general public, and will never compare favourably with their petrol/diesel counterparts. However there have been exceptional technological advances over the last few years and the situation we see today is very different to that of five years ago, three years ago, and in some cases even 12 months ago. The technology is moving ahead at lightning quick pace, governments and consumers around the world are becoming more "EV friendly" and we are on the verge of a major breakthrough.
Some politicians have attempted to make political hay while the sunshines, suggesting that many major city centres will become EV only areas although this is highly unlikely in the short-term. There is potential for a long-term policy to encourage greater EV use within city centres, thereby reducing environmental pollution but now is not the time to come down heavily on the UK public.
Even the mention of Elon Musk will ensure that any developments in the UK electric vehicle market associated with the Tesla Chief Executive will be headline news around the world. We can only await confirmation of the already leaked plans which have been greatly received by the U.K.'s environmentally friendly groups, Green supporters and EV enthusiasts.