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“Highway Star”

24 May 2022

“Highway Star”

Not surprisingly, my wife Christine and I have hired a car (with unlimited mileage) for our scenic holiday in the remote Cantabrian mountains of northern Spain. 

It’s a petrol engine car, so it’s technology I’m familiar with. But I wonder: when will electric vehicles become the norm? 

As I have mentioned before on the Site-Eco blog, I see the appeal of EVs in urban and relatively low-mileage situations. However in rural locations, charge-point availability can be challenging at best and utterly non-existent at worst. 

Yes, charging facilities provision is growing now, but how long will it take until networks cover entire countries? Surely, familiar filling stations will be necessary for a long time yet – and even they are few and far between in the area we’re holidaying in. 

Moreover, not everyone in this region speaks English - in the same way that I'm not fluent in Spanish. A quick BBC 'Get By in Spanish' course that I took years ago still proves invaluable when asking for gasolina sin plomo (unleaded) or gasoleo (diesel), but it just covers the basics. 

But if you were to become anxious about your available battery range in a foreign country, how would you ask the locals about charge-point locations, capacity per kilowatt hour, prices and which provider’s app to use in unfamiliar territory? True, you might use language apps; but in remote areas you may not get a signal on your phone. 

Certainly EV popularity is increasing. The car rental giant Hertz recently announced its purchase of 65,000 vehicles from the Swedish manufacturer Polestar over the next few years for its operations in Europe, North America and Australia. But I imagine they’ll be driven chiefly in urban locations. 

So, just as with machinery on construction sites, diesel and petrol will be needed for some time yet to ensure all locations can be catered for. 

Until next time, or Hasta la próxima vez

● The song title behind today’s post? Click here

Photos: Alan Guthrie 

“Highway Star”
“Highway Star”


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