I do like Boris Johnson believe it or not - but he does talk the most absurd crap at times. Perhaps one of the most annoying things about him is that he has a regular spot in The Telegraph which he could use to put across proper conservative ideas, but instead chooses to talk the most inane drivel. Today's is about his appearance on Top Gear - with a plug for electric cars thrown in.
As they have discovered on Top Gear, electric cars are not just glorified milkfloats these days. There is already something out there called the Tesla, which can apparently do 125mph and go for 250 miles without needing to have its batteries recharged.
Yeah? Then what? Let's say you're on a trip from London to Aviemore to enjoy a little Scottish skiing - which is about to undergo a renaissance with the coming cold spell of the next few years. It's roughly 600 miles or so, give or take. That means it's going to take you three days to reach your destination - sure, it only costs you a tenner in fuel costs, but the £150 in hotel bills plus food more than compensates for that.
The internal combustion engine is not king because it is the only choice. It is king because, right now, it is the only sensible choice. Until there is an electric car which can travel 250 miles (at least) and recharge in 10 minutes then no one is going to switch to them. That technology - even if it becomes available - is still a long way off.
Add on the fact that the batteries themselves (the lithium-ion ones) currently cost around £4000 and only last for around five years and that kind of puts a damper on the whole thing. Imagine the depreciation on a £20,000 electric car? Who is going to buy a three year old electric car knowing they'll have to shell out another £4000 inside two years? And that's assuming average motoring! Do a lot of mileage and your electric dream machine will be so much scrap in two years!
Electric cars haven't caught on because they are completely impractical outside of the city - and as most cities have pretty decent public transport systems (or should have, Boris!) they haven't really caught on in cities either.
You buy your electric buggy, Boris - I'll stick to my internal combustion engine and I'll meet you in Aviemore for some skiing. I'll give you a days start and will still be on the slopes long before you!