JOHN Rankin's letter (December 2) is typical of the mix of fake news and irrelevant anecdote that constitutes the opposition to the wider use of electric cars. It follows four years of a Trump presidency that made constant use of misinformation, the worst being that there is no such thing as global man-made warming. A major part of the problem is that fake news is propagated by people who do not realise that it is fake, until it becomes credible through repetition.

First, the apparently authoritative statement, presented as fact, that an electric vehicle has to be driven for 50,000 miles before its carbon footprint is less than that of a petrol or diesel car. Where is the research that shows this? Apparently it comes from the motor manufacturers, who made it up. Common sense should tell us that a vehicle that not only burns fossil fuel, but has a long list of working parts, is more expensive to make than one that has, basically, an electric motor and a battery. Think of all the parts of a car that are needed to burn fuel; a complex engine with lots of moving parts, a clutch, fuel tank, fuel pipe and an exhaust pipe as well as all the smaller bits such as a fuel pump and various filters. Not to mention the catalytic converter described by Mr Rankin that allows all the carbon dioxide to pass through to the air that we breathe.

Second, the anecdote about having to find a charge point and wait an hour. The motor manufacturers are still, in the UK and Europe, charging premium prices for electric vehicles; they still wish to sell the old-fashioned petrol and diesel versions that their factories are geared up to make. This has made buying an eco-friendly vehicle more difficult than it should be, but it is possible to choose from a number of makes that will cover 250 miles or more before recharging. They also charge quickly enough to refill while the passengers have a meal. How far do you want to go before a comfort stop?

In China, the cheapest electric vehicle is a two-seater city car that retails for about £4,000. There are new family-size electric saloon cars available in China that retail for less than £9,000. Once these cars reach Europe there will be no contest; electric cars will be cheaper to buy and, as now, much cheaper to run. For a lot more information, search YouTube for "Chengdu Motor Show".

Finally, electric cars are comfortable, quiet and nippy. Keeping up with the traffic is no problem. In Scotland we can buy an annual card from Charge Place Scotland for £20 that permits recharging from public charge points for a full year, for free. The Government presently gives a rebate of £3,500 on new electric cars, which will not be necessary once the manufacturers wake up and smell the coffee. As a country we need to accept change. The future is electric.

Roger Waigh, Helensburgh.