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Should we follow the electric- car route?

    Is purchasing an electric car a wise move? A couple of years ago, I tested the Tesla S85 for the JC and was immediately converted to the concept, the attractions being the fabulous acceleration, coupled with its quietness and smoothness. The car’s range is claimed to be nearly 300 miles and when I brought it to the Tesla charging point at Sainsbury’s in Winchester, it took only half an hour to bring its battery back to 80 per cent capacity.

    “Where do I go to pay?” I asked — and was told you don’t; it’s free. This is apparently guaranteed to continue with Tesla’s 85 model but no doubt will not apply when the new cheaper electric Tesla comes to the market next year. The S85 cost £59,000 after the government discount.

    Is electricity the fuel of the future — and can the national grid cope with the additional demands? Many people, especially Honda, say no, the answer is hydrogen, which gives all the advantages of petrol without the emissions. We shall see in years to come, though a safe bet is to go for a plug-in petrol hybrid, offering the best of both worlds.