Electric cars and the environment


Sir, – Diarmaid Ferriter (“Can celebrity SUV virtue waving please cease?”, Opinion & Analysis, ,October 15th) presses the right buttons about electric vehicles, but their adoption is part of a much wider environmental problem that is contrary to climate change goals.

There is a very destructive environmental impact with electric vehicle manufacture and their use, and very real human pain arising from the sourcing of materials for batteries. Any guilt assuagement by buying trees to cover carbon tyre tracks is the equivalent of lighting a candle to Saint Anthony to find lost time for climate change.

If electric SUVs were really about transport, their drivers would put their expensive athleisure wear to use, and walk, cycle, or run those short journeys. What is needed is less conspicuous consumption. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – I appreciate John Thompson’s idea of comparing the total energy required to propel a petrol car versus an electric one (Letters, October 18th). It is exactly this kind of critical thought that stops us jumping from fad to fad.

There is a key figure in his analysis that is wrong, however; the assumption that 90 per cent of our electricity comes from fossil fuels. This hasn’t been true in over a decade.

In fact, for six years the number has been sufficiently in excess of the “magic” number of 25 per cent that in fact would make the electric Mini more environmentally friendly, as per Mr Thompson’s calculation. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – While you continue to produce sponsored content and provide advertising for polluters such as Land Rover, editorials such as Saturday’s calling for resolve and ambition regarding the climate crisis are, to quote Greta Thunberg, just “blah, blah, blah”. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – Fergal Dalton (Letters, October 18th) makes a good point about the “overstay fee” at ESB ecar connect charge points. However, some context is required.

I recently traded in a 2008 Volkswagen Passat for a 2021 64kw Hyundai Kona Electric. The cost of the last full tank of petrol for the Passat in September was €93. I signed up for the ESB ecar connect service on September 30th and pay a €4.60 subscription fee each month. Most of the charge points are standard (up to 22kw). However, there are a small number of fast (50kw) and high power (150kw) chargers. On the ecars membership page on the ESB website, it is explained that an overstay fee of €4.60 will apply for charging sessions longer than 45 minutes on ESB fast and high-power chargers to ensure a charge point is available for the next user.

I haven’t yet installed the home charger and have twice used a 50kw fast charger in Dún Laoghaire to charge the vehicle. A charge from 20 per cent to 90 per cent battery capacity early on Saturday morning cost €9.58. As the full charge took one hour and 17 minutes, there was also an overstay fee of €4.60 so the total cost was €14.18.

Although electric cars remain more expensive that their petrol or diesel equivalents, the running costs are much lower. However, there are relatively few fast chargers, and we need more. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.