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OPINION: Electric cars can help football fans support the planet

Fulham FC Craven Cottage

Being a football fan is a joyous, often social but mainly worrisome activity. Every season, we find huge reserves of emotional strength to deal with everything our beloved clubs throw at us, on top of all the other stuff in life we need to worry about – money, marriage, children, work, health… and now we’re adding the climate crisis into the mix.

I’m not cut out for worrying about climate change. I’m the sort of person that gets stressed at the thought of having to remember the passwords in my two-factor authentication. But whenever I hear fans passionately chanting at the referee ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’, I often agree. But I also wonder if we should all be chanting to ourselves that we don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to addressing the climate emergency.

It’s clear the world needs to move away from burning fossil fuels to using clean, renewable sources of energy as quickly as possible.

Every single degree of global warming that isn’t already baked into the atmosphere is up for grabs and worth fighting for – just like the points in a relegation battle. Climate is a cliff – there will come a point of no return – so we need a roadmap that helps our children and our children’s children avoid the edge.

But like VAR, however complex you think something is, it’s generally wrong, but gradually getting less wrong. It’s annoying that these things are such gnarly, nuanced, multifaceted head scratchers; I was hoping we’d have it all sorted before Wolves on Monday.

One potential green initiative could be switching from petrol or diesel to an electric car. But is driving an electric car doing a good thing or something that’s a bit pointless in the grand scheme? Fossil fuel companies like to challenge the cleanliness and reliability of electric cars because they know that if they can sow a little seed of doubt, the status quo is easier to resume. Truth be told, electric cars are much cleaner to run nearly everywhere in the world, while having fewer parts also makes them much more reliable to drive and cheaper to service.

Even if that doesn’t motivate you, what about walking down the Fulham Palace Road on matchday and unknowingly breathing the smoky by-products of all that burning, which is contributing to the premature death of 4,000 Londoners each year.

Yes, brand new electric cars are expensive but buying any new car outright is a bit extra. It might be what somebody on the first team does, but most people lease electric cars, partly because it lets you get that new car smell for a monthly fee that doesn’t break the bank, and partly because you’re not left holding the keys to obsolete technology. Remember how your telly used to be the size of a heist movie safe and now it’s in your pocket? Well, the electric vehicle industry is moving at similarly breakneck speeds.

And now you’re probably wondering where you’ll be able to charge your new electric car. Well, the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway has got you covered with hundreds of charging locations across the country, including Motspur Park. Even better news is that the company also builds its own utility-scale solar farms, so you’re guaranteed to charge up using 100% net zero energy. Don’t you just love the idea of the sun powering your wheels? It’s so much less wasteful than digging something up and shipping it thousands of miles just to burn it and make pistons move up and down.

As the manager might say, this is a marathon not a sprint. There is always going to be opportunities for us to make progress, so we need to go at our own pace. This week you may be washing your yoghurt pots for Thursday’s recycling collection, and next week you could be test driving your first electric car at one of GIRDSERVE’s Electric Forecourts®.

That EV experience may help to demonstrate that changing how we do things doesn’t have to mean unbearable hardship. In fact, the experience it replaces could be fundamentally better in every conceivable way.

You may even find out that this becomes a bit of gateway drug into thinking about other environmental issues. But don’t worry about that just now. Perhaps it’s something that you could explore to fill the vast gaping emptiness that the end of a football season brings.