Opinion: An electrifying future
On a visit to explore the new Lidl store which has opened on Seamer Road, I noticed it has charging points for up to three electric vehicles, a sign of the times indeed. Fully electric cars were considered a joke only three or so years ago and yet battery technology has suddenly taken off at an amazing pace.
It seems like only yesterday we were buying devices with nickel cadmium batteries as state of the art, now we have lithium-ion batteries which are steadily improving and making all electric cars viable. Only recently Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, was urging people to forget diesel cars and buy cars which polluted less.
Possibly the most popular electric car currently is the Nissan Leaf, made in Sunderland, beautifully quiet and comfortable but with a range of only 100 miles or so. They have now announced that a new model next year will have a range of 300 miles and if this is achieved then it will be pretty much close to the range of a small family car with a full tank of petrol.
Battery technology is shooting ahead and the latest talk is of a lithium-oxygen battery which will have three times the capacity of current lithium-ion ones, we live in interesting times.
And talking of interesting times, dare I mention politics? 2017 is probably going to be one of those years when we see the most profound changes ever seen in one year, both at home and abroad.
We have the newly elected President Trump in America, possible enormous changes in the forthcoming elections in Holland, Germany and France, and the sight of the European Union starting to crumble and our own Brexit negotiations beginning. I remember my mother when close to the end of her life saying life was far too interesting to go anywhere.
I echo that sentiment. Whatever happens I think we can say 2017 is going to be a very interesting year indeed.