The environment and electric cars


Sir, – Fully-electric cars are indeed the gold standard for low-emissions driving (Motoring, June 5th;Letters, June 9th).The inevitable move from fossil-fuelled to all-electric vehicles will continue and won’t be deferred until all our electricity is from renewable sources. Already one-third of our power is wind-generated and solar farms will soon be in action.

Batteries weigh heavily in electric cars, but so do the engine block, the gearbox, the transmission, the radiator, etc, in all fossil-fuelled cars. So no extra loss of energy with the new technology. The efficiency of an electric motor is about 90 per cent, far ahead of any internal combustion engine.

The used batteries will not pollute; they will either be repurposed to less arduous duties (such as bulk electricity storage) or recycled and processed for re-use in road vehicles.

Fully-electric cars are the new gold standard. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – Paddy Johnson (Letters, June 8th) is correct to draw attention to some of the inefficiencies that are involved with electric cars. However, what this really highlights is the woeful inefficiency of all cars, especially when used (as is so often the case in Ireland) as a single-occupant mode of transport for short urban journeys. Apart from the huge energy and space requirements of moving a single human by surrounding them in a two-tonne metal cage, cars also require valuable space for their storage during the long periods when they’re not being used. Of course cars have their place in our transport mix, and electric cars, if powered by renewables, can play an important part in reducing emissions. But while we continue to prioritise car use instead of making other, more efficient, forms of transport more attractive, we’re not going to have a significant impact on emissions, air pollution or traffic congestion. – Yours, etc,


Salthill, Galway.