The market’s already come up with something that makes Nick Clegg’s electric car plan totally irrelevant

Nick Clegg’s on a drive to make Britain the world leader in electric cars. Today, he announced that the government will invest more than £9m to up the number of charging points across the country.

The government’s partnered up with major car manufacturers who are backing the suspectly-named Go Ultra Low campaign - which they hope will challenge common misconceptions that put people off going electric.

Electric car owners avoid congestion charges, and many charging points are free to use.

And, the cars cost just 2p a mile - so a driver going about 10,000 miles a year would save £1,000.

Clegg’s hoping that a lot more people will start using them, with the introduction of 140 new charge points.

Mind you, upping the number of charging points may not be the most efficient way of charging an electric car.

Back in November Clegg announced that the government had signed up Elon Musk, the billionaire behind PayPal and SpaceX and chief executive of Telsa Motors, to help with the government’s green agenda.

Tesla Motors builds electric cars (pictured) like the Telsa Roadster. It also provides charging points for its vehicles and is soon to release a battery pack swap option.

While the charging points are free, the battery pack swap will cost something (we don’t know how much yet), but it is much faster - in fact, it takes just 90 seconds.

Just to compare: it takes around four minutes to fill up a car with petrol or diesel. The charging points Clegg’s got in mind will charge a car in “less than half an hour”.

So while charging points might be more economical, those hoping for a rapid growth in electric car users may well be hoping that Musk shows this video to Clegg.