Saturday 26 May 2018

Like Brexit, it has been a rocky road to drive electric

Switching from an internal combustion engine car to an electric vehicle has been fraught with pitfalls, writes David Robbins

Dr David Robbins is a lecturer in the School of Communications at DCU. He is co-creator of DCU’s new MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media & Society
Dr David Robbins is a lecturer in the School of Communications at DCU. He is co-creator of DCU’s new MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media & Society

David Robbins

My decision to trade in a perfectly good Audi A4 1.6 for an all-electric Nissan Leaf about two years ago coincided with the Brexit referendum in the UK. The two events have much in common. They were both impulsive and driven by emotion. And, as the passage of time has shown, neither was very well thought through.

I was at a talk by British climate change expert Prof Kevin Anderson at DCU. He had taken the ferry and train over. In fact, he hadn't been on a flight for seven years. He said if those of us who work on climate change, who understand what's happening and who know what it will take to tackle it, if we don't change our behaviour, how can we expect anyone else to?

A couple of days later, I was driving home in a nice, white demo model Nissan Leaf. It was only after I had bought the thing that I began to research what it involved - a bit like Boris Johnson and Brexit.

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