Electric progress?

Aug 22, 2011 | Blogs

It’s good news. Carbon arguments aside, VW’s announcement of its imminent single passenger, all-electric vehicle seems to tick all the right boxes. It’s good for sustainable mobility. It’s good for local air quality issues in cities, especiallyLondon.Britain’s capital has been notoriously in breach of European air quality limits for some time.

On cars, the focus of the sustainability debate has been traditionally on the single issue of climate change. And whilst electric cars, particularly if powered by renewable energy, can address that problem – other aspects of the debate have been left out. Less well-articulated are the twin issues of local air quality and sustainable mobility.

Sure, a single-seat electric vehicle won’t replace the family car and it won’t solve all the problems associated with urban transport. But it does offer commuters another option to choose from. If things go VW’s way, it may even do for the car what the tablet has done for the PC. Perhaps the next mayor ofLondon, if he or she happens to read CC blogs, should take note.

VW’s new concept car suggests that innovative solutions to the challenge of sustainable mobility (carbon, congestion and local air quality included) are on their way. Yet an unanswered question remains.

Will consumers go for it?