Waterford election hopeful calls for improved infrastructure for electric cars

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

news@waterfordlive.ie

Waterford election hopeful calls for improved infrastructure for electric cars

Waterford election hopeful calls for improved infrastructure for electric cars

The Green Party in Waterford has reacted with disappointment today to figures released by the Society of Irish Motoring Industry (SIMI) detailing new car registrations for 2018.

Figures relating to Electric Vehicle sales are of particular concern to Green Party Local Election Candidate in Tramore and Waterford City West, Marc Ó Cathasaigh.

"SIMI’s statistics show that there has been an increase in EV sales from 2017, but they still only comprise fewer than 1 in 100 of new car registrations nationwide, or just less than 1%. Put that in context of the government’s stated goal as far back as 2010 that 10% of the National Fleet would be electric by 2020, and you can see how far off target we are," Marc said.

"The situation in Waterford is even more pronounced, with only 22 Electric Vehicles sold out of 3289 new cars registered last year," he added.

Mr. Ó Cathasaigh believes that a lack of charging infrastructure is the main factor holding back the adoption of electric cars:

"Figures available on the SEAI website shows that electric cars can save 74% in transport costs over even a diesel engine.  Added to the €5000 grant available along with free installation of a home charging point, and EVs should be an attractive option for new car buyers."

"Waterford Council, to their credit, has made parking for electric cars free throughout the county. The main sticking point now is charging infrastructure. The entire county has only 15 charging points for EVs, with 6 in Waterford City, 3 in Tramore and only 2 in Dungarvan. Very few of these are ‘Fast Charge’ stations," the Green Party representative added.

"This is where government investment can make a key difference. To be confident to drive your electric car, you have to have confidence that you’ll be able to recharge en route when necessary. With transport accounting for 21% of our emissions nationally and with EU fines looming, it’s past time for us to tackle this issue head-on."

SIMI’s report for 2018 shows that car sales in general fell by 4.4% last year, owing to difficult trading conditions.