@derv and other bits
"..produce an economically viable electric car, capable of carrying the average family and their luggage the entire journey from central Scotland to Cornwall (530 miles), in reasonable, air conditioned comfort, in a journey time of just under 9 hours (not including breaks), that won't need to be recharged en-route?
That, my friends, is what's known as 'real-life' motoring. Until then, you can shove your electric (and hybrid) cars where the sun don't shine!!"
And how often do you do that? Not ever day I suspect.
90%+ of my driving time is spent travelling 30 miles for 45-60 minutes from home to Hull, and then the reverse in the evening. consequently, should I have an day when I travel to Wales I'd more than likely be stopping for at least 10 minutes in some motorway services for lunch/tea, at which point the car is plugged in. Why you don't see your breaks as a reasonable point to pop it on charge for a few minutes seeing as you've stopped anyway is beyond me....
I agree with Jon that the overhead of the extra power produced by fossil fuel based power stations is a much better option if it stops the use of petrol as a fuel for cars. Granted the big coal plants are not the cleanest of places but they are now having to fit FGD (flue gas desulpharisation), etc and have carbon levvy's imposed. Not every power station is a big dirty coal fired plant either, the one where I work happens to be gas. Plus you would expect greener resources to spring up to fill the demand of the extra leccy. I would suspect that solar panels on homes would become more viable as you would not only be saving on household leccy but also the extra demand required to charge the car, thus more return on your outlay. I suspect he money saved from not buying petrol for a year would pay for solar panels anyway, but that's just conjecture I have no real figures for solar panel costs. At the current rate I'm spending about £50/week which by my maths is £2600/year, certainly a nice contribution towards some at any rate.
The environmental benefits at any rate are far in the favour of regulated, controlled burning of fuels in power stations rather than the masses of cars on the roads. The power station will always aim for the most efficient burning of the fuel where possible, car's have to stop and speed up ,etc.