Saturday 18 January 2020

Motorists 'confused' by fast-tracking of bill to outlaw diesel, petrol car sales

Stock image: PA
Stock image: PA
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

Government plans to fast-track new laws to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 have been criticised as "confusing" as thousands of motorists prepare to buy new cars in the coming days.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (Simi) said it was concerned about plans to bring forward the laws early in the new year.

"This only adds to the confusion, at a time when people are buying new cars. January is the biggest selling month for new cars," Simi's director general Brian Cooke said.

"There are around 35,000 new cars sold in January, so it's the key month for us."

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Mr Cooke said the Government's target to have close to a million hybrid or electric cars on Irish roads by 2030 remained "too ambitious".

Fianna Fáil expressed concerns that the plans were being fast-tracked at a time when "families and businesses remain extremely reliant" on petrol and diesel cars.

The 'Sunday Independent' reported yesterday that Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton has brought forward plans to publish the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019 which will enforce a ban announced last June. While the bill may be debated in the Dáil before the general election it is unlikely to be passed into law before the country goes to the polls.

Fianna Fáil climate spokesman Jack Chambers said it was an "attention-grabbing re-hash" of a previously announced policy. "Producing a draft bill for a 2030 change is a far cry from delivering measures that would immediately benefit people and the planet - such as a nationwide ban on smoky coal," Mr Chambers said. "We're open to legislation that improves climate action, particularly in the transport sector where this Government has been extremely poor."

He added: "Fianna Fáil is mindful that families and businesses remain extremely reliant on petrol/diesel cars and that any phase out must be combined with greater investment in EV charging, public transport and cycling infrastructure."

Irish Independent

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