GMB: Susanna says she’s ‘taking credit’ for Ed Miliband’s electric car
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The Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Ed Miliband had previously been grilled over his plans for an electric car “revolution” despite not having one himself. The former Labour leader has since bought one. Presenter Susanna Reid said: “We must take some of the credit for you getting an electric car because we put you on the spot over it last time you were on. This is the point.”
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said: “If you would like to take credit, Susanna, you’re welcome to.”
She continued: “You can talk the talk but unless you walk the walk…
“Unless you know the practical problems that these options present to people then it’s going to be hard to persuade everyone to go the same way.
“How much did your electric car cost for instance? How much of an option is it for anyone driving around London looking for fuel and thinking maybe I’ll get an electric car instead.”
Mr Miliband continued: “You made a very good point. One of the things I proposed last time when I was on your programme and talking about not having an electric car was that we should have long-term zero-interest loans for families.
“Why do I say that, because the upfront costs for electric cars are high but actually the operating costs are lower than having a petrol car.
“It’s that upfront thing we need to tackle.
“The key thing on this climate transition is it just a thing richer people can afford to do or can we make it affordable.”
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It comes as European and US.cities planning to phase out combustion engines over the next 15 years first need to plug a charging gap for millions of residents who park their cars on the street.
For while electric vehicle (EVs) sales are soaring in Europe and the United States, a lag in installing charging infrastructure is causing a roadblock.
Often cash-strapped local authorities have other priorities than a kerbside network of charging points which would allow owners to ensure their EVs are always topped up.
And while that leaves a potential gap for the private sector, it is one that few EV charging startups, who have been early adopters in other locations, are focused on.
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“It’s really difficult to tackle on-street residential charging, so there’s really not many companies that have,” Hugh Mackenzie, chief operating officer at Trojan Energy, said.
Trojan has developed a charger, which is being tested on residential streets in two London boroughs, where EV owners insert a short pole into sockets sunk into the pavement and then plug in their car.
Tim Win, an Uber driver who charges his Nissan Leaf every day, is using the system in Brent, north London.
“After I’ve been driving all day I just want to come home and plug in,” said Win, 39, who previously used a nearby EV fast charger to charge up in 20 minutes but sometimes had to wait in line for nearly an hour.
A “cabbie” using one of London’s new electric black taxis told Reuters he often has to drive between charging points, losing valuable custom as he does, only to find they are either already in use or malfunctioning.
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