Friday 20 April 2018

Why we have to switch to electric cars now - not tomorrow

Charging an electric car with the power cable. Stock image
Charging an electric car with the power cable. Stock image
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

We hear a lot about electric cars being our automotive future.

If that is the case then our future is bleak - as things stand. Ireland's uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) has been extraordinarily low and slow.

Successive governments can legitimately point to generous Exchequer incentives to buy an EV. But we're not buying. Why? There are many reasons: high price, limited range, long charging time are always cited. They don't necessarily stand up to scrutiny any more. Costs are coming down and most makers now produce cars with increased range as technology improves.

The core reason is a lack of real purpose and drive from the powers that be. It is easy to blame 'government' but this is about much more than getting electric vehicles on the road. This is about starting the shift from fossil fuels that EU legislators have well and truly begun.

Nissan's James McCarthy says we face EU fines of up to €6bn for failing to reduce carbon emissions. That's a lot of reasons to start doing something about it.

He wants a 'coherent strategy' so that we have 50,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2020.

I hope we get the strategy but the evidence to date suggests we will drag on as is.

If we are serious about keeping pace with developments and regulations, what we really need is a central body to run the EV show.

Indo Motoring

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