I talked to a London cab driver about his electric cab recently. It costs £60,000 compared to £40,000 for a diesel cab. He gets 70 mile range between charges and charges the cab at home and then in London as he drives around, but hopes the range will extend. He was very happy with it, and saw the environmental benefits of electric. He was considering solar panels to help the charging with green electricity.
The driver told me he was from Somalia originally. I thought that he could see issues that many of us do, but we don’t spend their own money on. I’ve recently written about air source heat pumps and receive a plethora of comments about the capital cost compared to a gas boiler. About how difficult it is to do this, to invest in an air source heat pump, from a forum which promotes Zero Carbon Britain. There is something wrong here, people advocate the change to zero carbon but they don’t think about how it is to be paid for, or they think that someone else will pay. Someone else won’t pay, there isn’t a money tree for these investments, we will pay even if the government provides financial support. Instead of assuming magic economics, we need a serious debate about how the investments to achieve zero carbon will be paid for and we all need to be transparent about the scale of the total investment.
How many of us will personally invest £60,000 in green infrastructure or have done? And yet a London cab driver, originally from Somalia, is prepared to – actions speak louder than words and the choices we make are key to a transition to zero carbon.
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