THE man leading a bid to bring green community transport to Tenbury and the Teme Valley and to Ludlow and south Shropshire is appealing for people to help the Teme Wheels charity to raise money for an electric people carrier.

But retired engineer John Driver, who chairs Teme Wheels, says he is not convinced the dash to go electric is the best way.

“The Government is backing electric and that is why we are going down this route,” said Mr Driver.

He is hoping people will go on the Spacehive site and donate so the group can get the matched funding they need for an electric vehicle with wheelchair access.

Mr Driver is not sure if electric is as great for the planet as people seem to think.

He points out that the electricity will need to be generated and there is a question mark over if the national grid will be able to cope.

Mr Driver is also aware that the precious metals needed for the batteries will have to be minded at a cost to the environment and then transported.

“We do not know how long the batteries will last,” he said.

“Like the battery in a mobile phone they have a limited number of recharge cycles and then have to be disposed of and the batteries are not biodegradable.”

He said new batteries will be very heavy and expensive with the cost of a new battery pack likely to run into four figures.

Even modern electric car technology provides a very limited range.

There will also be an environmental and financial cost in taking petrol and diesels off the road and replacing them with new cars.

It would be a major breakthrough if a way could be found so that existing petrol and diesel engines could be modified to run on ‘green’ fuel.

Mr Driver believes that hydrogen power may be the best long term option although not without its problems.