How can the use of electric cars be promoted?

First published: 21st April 2009

I am a fan of electric vehicles, but people like Francis Chan (Talkback, April 17) should remember they don't automatically "produce no greenhouse gases". The batteries must be charged and the electricity to do that will come from a power station, possibly burning fossil fuels.

A large power station may be more efficient than a petrol car engine, but there are also losses in the power grid and charging the battery.

The electric car does have an advantage with regenerative braking: when the car is slowed or stopped, energy is put back into the battery instead of lost as heat. This could be a major benefit in hilly Hong Kong.

The biggest advantage for Hong Kong, however, is that these cars produce no fumes. Cutting roadside smog is reason enough to get more electric vehicles on our streets as soon as possible.

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