by Frank Schnittger
Sat Nov 26th, 2022 at 09:00:33 AM EST
Electric cars - charging ahead? Destroying the incentive, Sat Nov 26 2022
A chara, - They say one should never waste a good crisis and the ESB [Irish state owned Electricity Supply Board] seems intent on not doing so by adding an up to 67 per cent price increase on top of a previous 47 per cent price increase last May at public electric vehicle charge points.
This is despite a 37 per cent decrease in wholesale electricity prices since last September and a 52 per cent decrease since September 2022 and brings the cost of electricity up to a level comparable to diesel ("Electric vehicle charging to match cost of diesel after 67 per cent further hike", News, November 24th).
With electric car prices still far beyond the reach of most car buyers, this destroys the one incentive we had to go electric, the reduced cost of running one, which could offset the increased repayments required to finance the purchase.
With the purchase of electric vehicles already far below the Government targets required to achieve our greenhouse gas emissions reductions, this latest increase seems designed to sabotage any chance we ever had of meeting those targets.
Buying an electric vehicle now only makes sense if you have a private charge point and large solar panel installation, which excludes the vast majority of the population.
Once again, the Green Party seems to be asleep at the wheel with the Minister for Energy already having allowed swingeing increases in road tolls at a time of booming revenues for toll operators due to increased traffic volumes.
What planet does Eamon Ryan live on? - Is mise,
I always give the Green Party a high preference at elections, depending on their candidate, but struggle to see the logic of their policies on occasion. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is Minister for Transport, the Environment, Climate and Communications and has direct political responsibility for the price rises in question.
Being the smallest party in a three party coalition is no excuse even if his two coalition partners are ideologically conservative parties. Such swingeing price rises at a time of high inflation are unpopular with all parties and he would have no political difficulty vetoing them. It is this insensitivity to popular feeling that makes me despair for the Green Party sometimes.
Implementing disruptive policies designed to mitigate climate change can be unpopular at the best of times, so you have to choose your battles carefully. Stupid measures such as the above which have no justification in cost terms will merely heighten popular suspicions about the "Green Agenda" and give fuel to their ideological opponents.