Is the future of our transport electric?
The latest sales trends, as we report today, suggest that electric cars are about to overtake petrol and diesel cars as the choice of most drivers in the UK.
That rise has been fueled not just by our desire to be less destructive to the environment but by the falling cost of buying and running an electric car.
At least one study suggests that buying and running a purely electric car - as opposed to a hybrid - is already cheaper than its petrol or diesel equivalent over the course of four years.
The cost is expected to fall significantly over the coming years as technology advances come on stream.
Their rising popularity will raise increasing questions about the ‘green’ credentials of electric cars. Numerous studies have found they are more environmentally-friendly than petrol or diesel, but, as with the city’s trams, the scale of the benefits depends on how ‘clean’ the source of the electricity happens to be.
More generally, we can expect a changing culture around the city’s roads in the coming years. There will be a need for many more electric charging points and pedestrians will need to be alert to the quiet purr of electric vehicles rather than just the growl of traditional engines.