Electric Vehicles still have a steep road to climb here in Ireland
Transport ministers and industry leaders agreed last week at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany, that electric vehicles still have a long road ahead of them.
Leo Varadkar once said Ireland was a proponent of ‘if you build it, they will come’. However, that has not been the case with electric vehicles, and it’s not just in Ireland. The whole of Europe is finding it difficult to shift EVs off to the customer. Frankly, it’s shocking that electric cars haven’t had better sales.
Speaking about his comment to Transportationnation, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said, “And we found with a lot of our transport network well, they didn’t come. And we now have railways that run at a massive loss and half-empty airport terminals.”
“What we had during our boom period, between 2001 to 2008, was huge investment in transport,” he said.
“There was a whole new motorway network, which has transformed the country. New airport terminals, we reopened some closed railways. And most of that investment was worth doing. But a lot of it actually wasn’t. At the time, we were subscribers as a country to this view.”
The cost of EVs is one of the major factors facing consumers as they try to tiptoe around harsh austerity measures, but Pat O’Doherty, the CEO of Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board has a few other problems with them.
He said “I should be able to drive my electric vehicle from Dublin in the future, down through Britain and charge it, down through France and into the South of Spain.” At the moment this would be pretty impossible to do, as there isn’t a universal plug to cater for EVs abroad.
“[EVs] will only work if the customer benefits financially,” said O’Doherty. He said the Nissan Leaf had been selling better in Ireland since Nissan had knocked 5,000 euros off the price.
Sadly, unless costs are slashed on EVs it looks like the electric car market might run out of steam before it runs out of juice.