It seems that the educated in our society are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and are taking measures to help protect our planet. Indeed, a recent survey shows that cars owned by universities in the UK are more likely to be electric than vehicles owned amongst those not involved in higher education. Indeed, it claims 7.78% of the cars owned by universities were electric vehicles whilst only 0.11% of the general population of the UK had invested in the more environmentally friendly version. Does this mean that electric vehicle usage is on the way up?
What the public thinks
This recent debate entitled 'Should you Buy Electric Cars' showed that there was a 50:50 split between yes and no. Many in the yes camp believed they were essential if we want to improve our environment, including making our air cleaner. They also argued that it would make car ownership cheaper in the long run, as fossil fuels get more and more expensive. Those who voted no argued that they weren't an instant cure for environmental problems as we have to burn coal to make the electricity in the first place. It seems when it comes to public opinion the jury is still out. This study suggests that those in higher education institutions are embracing electric cars but it might not be the case for the wider public
What the Automobile Association Thinks
The AA is generally supportive of electric vehicles. They are happy to offer full breakdown cover for these modern cars, just like they would any other. They believe that an electric vehicle revolution is happening and in response, they have partnered with Chargemaster, suppliers of electric vehicle charging solutions to ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure in place to keep those who are making the transition into electric vehicles going. It seems the AA believe that electric car usage will keep on increasing.
Statistics are important to us here at Higher Ed Geek, so let's consider them in more detail. The percentage difference between the figure of 0.11% represents the percentage of electric cars owned in the general population to 7.78%, the percentage owned by universities. This figure is a staggering 7073% increase, which shows that universities are much more likely to invest in electric vehicles. The study suggests that those with a high degree of education are more environmentally conscious, or perhaps that the faculties of science within the universities have proved the worth of the electric car. Maybe it is the locations of the universities, usually in city centres which can make charging cars easier that has swayed decisions. Either way, it seems universities could be a driving force in making electric vehicles more popular across the population.
Whilst universities are embracing new technology the general population might still have some concerns. Concerns about how to make remote travel possible are legitimate, as are concerns over maintenance with complicated electric engines making it impossible for car owners to perform DIY fixes. There are also concerns about where we source lithium and other rare metals used in the engines of electric cars, is there an ethical way to mine these? It seems that whilst universities are leading the way and showing us that electric car usage should be our way forward, there are still issues to iron out if the general population is to follow.