A proposed increase of the speed limit on UK roads – to 80 miles per hour – is not without controversy, concerns and complaints. How about this for an unlikely solution? UK energy secretary Chris Huhne reckons the proposed 80-mph limit motorway should only apply to electric vehicles. Apparently, this is to please enviro types while concurrently promoting the adoption and use of electric vehicles. It's a win-win situation, right?

Wrong. You can see why Huhne might have thought this a sound idea. After all, the controversy over the speed limit change is as much about environmental impact as it is safety-related issues. And raising the speed limit for zero-emissions vehicles results in, well, um, zero additional emissions. But there's a major issue here that Huhne has obviously overlooked.

Most electric vehicles can barely hit 80 mph, let alone exceed it. And if you try running a Nissan Leaf (or, for that matter, most any other electric vehicle) in excess of 80 mph for more than a few moments at a time, range will drop off substantially, so much so that we'd venture to guess those Leaf owners will be more than just a bit disappointed with their electric hatchbacks. Tesla Roadster owners probably won't complain, but even its range at a constant 80-plus mph will diminish. Close, but no cigar on this one.

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