Letter: Clean but cold

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The letters concerning the practicality of electric cars have in part argued about efficiency, a very difficult quantity to measure (letter, 25, 30 October, 2 November).

What they have omitted to mention at all is the fact that all of the heating of cars with internal combustion engines makes use of energy which otherwise would be wasted. The electric cars I have seen, for example in a special demonstration in La Rochelle in the summer, did not have heaters. If electric cars do have heaters then the storage batteries have to be even larger than they are at present.

Being old enough to remember unheated cars, I am sure that few people today would be willing to purchase such a vehicle, even for short journeys. The question of efficiencies is altered considerably if the energy required for heating is taken into account.

ROBERT HUTCHINGS

Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

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