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The drive to be carbon-neutral

by Michael Ford last modified 13 Nov, 2020 10:07 PM

As an Eco Diocese, and as part of the National Church, we are seeking to reduce our emissions and our impact on our planet. So what's it like to switch to an electric car?

The drive to be carbon-neutral

Original photo courtesy Pxfuel

After the internal combustion engine was invented in the 1870s, car engines changed very little until the advent of electric power.

IT and Admin Support Officer Adrian Smale explains:

"There's a lot of misinformation about electric vehicles (EVs), but while they are still expensive to buy - and this will change over the next 5 years - they are very much cheaper to run.

"What's the difference for me? If I add our 16 Solar panels into the mix, we are saving 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per year. How much is that? Well, if I filled my house with CO2 it would weigh very approximately 1 ton, so imagine 4 1/2 times that size or volume - and that's just my wife and my impact on our planet with a small diesel car and house!

The drive to be carbon-neutral- What's the difference

"If you are running a larger car, it's likely producing closer to 5 tons per year, plus Nitrogen Oxides and small particles – both common in diesel fumes – which contribute to up to 36,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. That’s more than tobacco or obesity. An investigation on the effects on children in a North London school really opened my eyes.*

"However, for the driver there really is no downside as they are so easy, quiet, quick and fun to drive and the silence is music to my ears. You will never go back.

"Part of the reason is EVs are more than 95% efficient with 200 moving parts, compared to a diesel or petrol vehicle which is at best 28% efficient with 2000 moving parts.

"It has no gears, no clutch like the one I replaced at a cost of £600+ last year in my old car, and servicing overall due to the number of moving parts is cheaper too.

"My new car has a range on a single charge of 200-250 miles and multiple models now offer 200-400 miles, so the range for 90% of people really is not an issue. You can also add 100 miles plus of range by fast charges in 30 minutes or less.

"This efficiency also means that for larger vehicles the savings are much, much greater. Not everyone can afford to make the switch yet but, when you can, literally everyone wins. You will be making a positive impact on the carbon cycle and climate change and also improving the air quality where you are, for both you and your community.

"You are also being a good steward of your money. Ask yourself, how much do I spend on month on fuel? In my case it’s going to be £18.75 rather than £59.43. So, you see, our personal choices really can make a difference."

[For more info on the London study, see]

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