26 May 2020 | 11.21 am
Car Dealers Question Unrealistic EV Target
ICCRA wants more focus on hybrid benefits
26 May 2020 | 11.21 am
Ireland’s main car dealers have formed the Irish Car Carbon Reduction Alliance to highlight major shortcomings in the government’s Climate Action Plan.
ICCRA says the plan is flawed as it is based on inaccurate and incomplete information. The group is calling for a review of the Cimate Action Plan (CAP) and the introduction of more realistic targets for emissions and Electric Vehicles.
Alliance spokesman Denis Murphy (pictured), managing director of Blackwater Motors in Cork, said there are only two ways to reduce emissions from transport – reduce the number of journeys by car and drive more fuel efficient cars. He added that the Action Plan ignores economics and the latest engineering.
“There is a sense of déjà vu about the CAP targets,” said Murphy. “In 2008 the then government set a target of having 250,000 electric cars on the road by 2020. Currently there are 8,120. It’s very easy to set targets but very difficult to achieve them without a clearly defined strategy.
“Ireland’s car ownership per head of population is one of the lowest in Europe. Yet we have one of the highest carbon emissions per car in Europe due to our rural transport infrastructure, which is responsible for an average annual mileage that is 1.5 times the EU average.
“Reducing emissions to CAP targets would require a sweeping reduction in the number of car journeys made, especially in rural Ireland, where motorists drive more than their urban counterparts. The public transport infrastructure isn’t there to support such drastic changes.”
ICCRA’s view is that emissions reduction is best achieved by encouraging motorists to drive more fuel-efficient cars. Murphy points out that consumer confusion over engine choices, and the relatively high cost of EV cars, are major challenges.
ICCRA research has found that half the population is confused about the various car options on the market and their impact on the environment. This has led to the continuing decline in new car registrations, as motorists are sticking with their current older car.
“The Climate Action Plan is feeding this confusion,” Murphy added. “It proposes a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and motorists are understandably concerned about the potential resale value of their car.
“In fact driving a newer car is a more meaningful way to reduce car emissions, by removing the older car stock that have significantly higher emissions. Current technological innovations could bring combustion engine cars close to zero emissions by 2030. Consumers require a more realistic timeframe and cost basis to transfer over to EVs.”
Car dealers also believe that the CAP’s targets for the supply and take-up of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVS) and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) between 2021 and 2030 are unrealistic.
According to Murphy: “The supply and pricing of BEVs and PHEVs in the Irish market are critical to consumer take-up even to reach 50% of the CAP targets. EU policy states that cars must achieve a 30% reduction emission levels by 2030, based on 2005 levels. This is significant because car manufacturers in Europe are working to achieve the EU target, not those set out in the CAP, and this will directly impact the supply of sufficient EVs for the Irish market.
“Furthermore there is the cost factor. The average cost of an EV is over €45,850 before subsidies whereas the average price of a new petrol car bought in Ireland in 2019 was €23,520 and a diesel car was €37,420.
“Targets can be ambitious but they have to be realistic to be achievable, and the current CAP targets fall well short. They must also be supported by a comprehensive strategy.”
Pic: Darragh Kane