Not very long ago, if you had an electric car you would have to be pretty well-off - and were probably either a committed environmentalists, a technology geek, or both.
That is all changing as electric cars move into the mainstream. The cost of buying and running them is falling - at least one study suggests they are already cheaper for many motorists than petrol or diesel equivalents - and will fall further in the next few years as technological advances come on stream.
So Edinburgh’s move to put itself at the forefront of this change - with plans, as we report today, for more than 200 new charging points across the city - has got to be welcomed. There are ‘green’ issues around electric cars, particularly the environmental cost of making and disposing of their batteries. Most scientists agree though that they are overall better for the planet - and they will certainly help tackle the Capital’s air pollution issues.
The problem at the moment is that a shortage of charging points threatens to put a brake on this positive consumer switch. But if Edinburgh put itself at the forefront of UK efforts then the opposite could happen. More electric cars means we are all breathing cleaner air sooner.