The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, is the latest bishop in the Diocese of Oxford to move to an environmentally-friendly electric car.

As the bishop leading on our ambitious plans to go carbon neutral, after declaring a climate emergency, Bishop Olivia felt it was important to switch to a greener vehicle.

She says electric cars are the way forward.

“I think the internal combustion engine has a very limited shelf life. Governments and manufacturers are moving towards electric. As the bishop leading on the environment for this Diocese, I felt it was really important to be an early adopter of this technology. I’m really pleased that electric cars have been made available for bishops.”

Last year, the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher became the first bishop in the Oxford Diocese, and possibly the Church of England, to invest in an electric car. His new vehicle purchase coincided with the launch of an electric charging point at Church House Oxford. The Bishop of Buckingham went electric six months ago too, which means all of our Bishops are now driving environmentally friendly cars.

“Electric cars are getting more and more viable as more charging points are available.

“The Government is making grants available to people who want to install charging points at home,” says Bishop Olivia.

“I was in Oxford recently and was delighted to see that I could park in the Westgate Centre and charge the car up for free. There are all sorts of advantages to electric cars.

“I think the market is getting better and better. Every month it seems a new electric vehicle is released and while electric cars are expensive to buy, the running costs are much cheaper. There are also more and more second-hand vehicles on the market.”

So what is Bishop Olivia’s new car like to drive? “It is lovely. Electric cars are surprisingly zippy with very good acceleration. There’s something about the instruments that show you how much energy you use as you accelerate and save as you slow down.”