Public approval for electric cars

There is a willingness to invest in electric cars as long as they are cheaper than the traditional combustion engine vehicles People nationwide are ready to do their part for the environment, overwhelmingly supporting the purchase of electric cars. In...

People nationwide are ready to do their part for the environment, overwhelmingly supporting the purchase of electric cars.

In a Rambøll/Jyllands-Posten survey, 73 percent said they would consider buying an electrically-powered vehicle if it were cheaper than a petrol or diesel model. And over a quarter of those polled say they would consider purchasing an electric car regardless of whether it were cheaper or not.

Young adults aged between 26-35 are especially behind the campaign, with 89 percent responding that they would consider buying an electric car if it were cheaper than its competitors.

A joint project between the country’s largest energy company, Dong, and electric car supplier Project Better Place hopes to have 500,000 electric cars on Danish roads by 2020. The cars have been given a registration fee exemption until 2012, but that offer is expected to be extended by Connie Hedegaard, the climate minister, until at least 2015.

According to Dong, electric cars can significantly reduce transport-related carbon dioxide emissions.

The vehicles’ batteries are typically charged by surplus power from wind turbines. Dong’s statistics say that, on average, a 2 megawatt wind turbine can produce enough energy to cover the annual power needs of 3,000 electric cars.

And Dong indicates that even if that electricity is generated through coal power stations, the emissions from electric cars would be only 50 percent of what cars with combustion engines emit.

But Bjørn Lomborg, renowned author on environmental issues, is sceptical that the project can effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions. According to him, the state will lose around 25 billion kroner in income with the fee exemption.

‘If it’s simply about cutting carbon dioxide emissions, then it’s possible to get 50 to 100 times more in reductions for the same money,’ he told public broadcaster DR.

‘Connie Hedegaard could go online and buy the same carbon dioxide reductions you would get from electric cars up to 2020 for half a billion kroner,’ said Lomborg. Then we’d still have 24.5 billion kroner left for other projects.’

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The Copenhagen Post

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