Danny Healy-Rae criticises use of electric cars

Independent TD also claims nuclear testing is responsible for damage to ozone layer

Danny Healy Rae TD cites nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean as a cause for damage to the ozone layer and subsequent climate change

 

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has dismissed the use of electric cars to safeguard the environment.

“It is only pure waffle to say that people should diversify and buy electric cars when there are no facilities to plug them in,’’ he said.

“They can only travel 100km at a time.’’

Mr Healy-Rae was speaking in the Dáil during a debate on the UN Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, which was introduced by Minister for Climate Change Denis Naughten.

He told Mr Naughten that if he was travelling in an electric car from Sneem to Caherdaniel in his Kerry constituency, he would not have sufficient power for the return journey.

Ozone layer

Mr Healy-Rae also claimed that nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago had caused serious damage to the ozone layer.

“I am thankful it is now mending and curing,’’ he said.

“It has nothing to do with policies in any country in recent times.’’

Meanwhile, Mr Naughten has cast doubt on whether the State’s current 2020 electric vehicle uptake target is achievable. Under the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, it had been envisioned that 50,000 electric vehicles could form part of the transport fleet in 2020.

However, Mr Naughten said drivers appear reluctant to switch to electric vehicles while oil prices remain low. “Notwithstanding substantial exchequer support of €10,000 to each electric vehicle, the reality of a halving of the price of oil and the pace of technology improvement has very significantly impacted electric vehicle market penetration,” he said in response to a parliamentary question from Timmy Dooley.