In 2008, the Fianna Fáil-Green Party coalition Government promoted a switch to “clean” diesel. VRT and motor tax rules were changed to favour diesel engines and Irish motorists were further enticed to make the switch with generous car scrappage deals.
It turns out, those clean diesels were not as good for the planet as we were lead to believe.
Moving from diesel to electric is making more sense now as we have over 1000 public charge-points around Ireland and the number of these is growing daily. New Super-Charge options are also available to Electric Vehicle drivers that allow a car to charge to 80% full in just over 20 minutes.
Today, the average car on Irish roads is over 9 years old. In total we have over 2 million cars on Irish roads. Of these, at least 500,000 are diesels that are getting beyond their sell-by date. As they age, they no pollute more heavily and are ready for a car scrappage scheme.
In a recent survey by thejournal.ie, 17% of Irish people said they’d like to go electric when buying their next car. If these people were encouraged to go electric with a car scrappage offered against an old diesel, Ireland could make a great step forward. Replacing diesels with electric will not only help us as a country to achieve carbon emission targets, we would also benefit from improvements in air quality too.