Boris Johnson’s climate spokesperson Allegra Stratton has revealed that she prefers to drive her diesel Volkswagen Golf over an electric car.
The prime minister’s former press secretary claimed she is put off by how long it takes to recharge an electric car before long journeys.
Ms Stratton said she needed a car that doesn’t need to be charged when she makes long journeys up to 250 miles away from her home in north London to visit elderly relatives in Scotland, Gloucestershire, north Wales, and the Lake District with her two young children.
Instead, she drives an old diesel-fuelled car that she bought “third-hand” – she said in an interview with Times Radio.
When asked why she would not drive an electric vehicle, she said: “I don’t fancy it just yet.”
She added that driving an electric car would be a more attractive idea if “the stop times for recharging improve so much that it’s half an hour.”
Edmund King, president of the AA, said the average electric vehicle has a range of more than 200 miles without the need for recharging.
He told The Times: “Even on a rare journey of over 200 miles, the driver should stop to take a break anyway for road safety reasons, so why not combine it with a rapid charge that takes just 20 minutes to go from a quarter charge to over 80 per cent?”
Mr King said that “now is the right time to go electric” as Londoners with electric cars do not have to pay the capital’s congestion charge, and vehicles that run only on electric are exempt from car tax across the UK.
Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030. Some plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and some full hybrids still able to be sold up until 2035.