Like any technology, I think electric vehicles are part of the solution to lifestyle changes and the changes and attitudes will be just in a different way. Part of how we got here in the first place was not understanding the consequences of using certain technologies in the past. One of things that we all have to be very conscious of is not making that mistake again and making sure that we understand as much as we possibly can about the consequences of using any technology at any one time. I think of course electric vehicles are absolutely fantastic; they have no emissions coming out of the tailpipe and they have a much cleaner life cycle. However, in the longer term, although they are definitely part of the solution, I suspect there will be different technologies coming through and eventually, over decades, we will see that electric vehicles were a transition; a really good idea for where we are now but a transition into something else in the future – Alan Patrickson, Durham County Council.
It’s also a little bit about how we use the technology. So at the moment there a lot of vehicles, many people own their own vehicle. But we might move to different mechanisms, say shared ownership structures. So within this transition that we are going through, electric vehicles are part of the solution and it will be interesting to see as we go forward how in different ways we can use them, such as shared ownership – Henna Bains, Durham University.
The thing about energy is it has to come from somewhere and so when you think about electric vehicles you will need a separate independent source of energy to charge up the battery, either overnight or when the battery becomes depleted. So it is also really important to think about what that sort of energy is and the impact that that is also having on the environment. So I think electric vehicles are a really positive step but on their own they are not a complete solution – Professor Douglas Halliday, Durham University.