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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘There should be no notion of compelling people to buy or use electric cars’

The prohibition of purchasing diesel and petrol cars from 2030 is unfair and unrealistic in terms of cost, durability, and reliability.

That is according to Independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae, who has stated that the government’s EV targets are “completely unrealistic”.

There is an initial figure of 195,000 by 2025, with a further 750,000 in 2026-2030.

He believes the government is not considering the ongoing financial difficulties families are facing due to the “ever-worsening” cost-of-living crisis.

He is of the view that the Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Green Party target is pressuring “ordinary” people to have one million electric cars on Irish roads by 2030.

EV switch

Banning diesel and petrol cars impacts people in rural areas, in particular, he stressed.

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He said that while there are public transport options in urban areas, there is a lack of public transport options in many rural areas, and people have “no option but to drive”, in particular, in rural areas.

He believes the latest move is “another example of the government’s anti-rural agenda”.

“This is not practical as people cannot afford a new electric car, and there is no second-hand market for these vehicles. This policy places enormous financial pressures on families,” he explained.

“There should be no notion of compelling people to buy or use electric cars.”

“If electric cars were competitive and were a real option, people would not have to be forced to purchase them. People always buy what is value for money and durable.”

EV costs

He added that people cannot afford the cost of an electric car which cost approximately €38,000 when a “good” second-hand petrol or diesel car is a fraction of this.

He explained that the batteries of electric cars – which have high disposal costs – need to be replaced after five years and would cost the same as a good second-hand car.

“If they were really competitive, I would have no problem with them, but it is clear that they are not at the present time.”

“Until the proper technology is developed, and these cars are comparable in every way, there should be no need to stop people buying diesel and petrol cars.”

“It is very clear that by going down this route that the government know that electric cars are not currently a competitive option.”

Other options

He believes the government is not prepared to consider other options – such as adding biofuels to diesel and converting petrol cars to gas – which, he says, would reduce emissions.

“They are aware of these options but are trying to bully their ways to buy expensive electric cars,” he claimed.

“There are many constituents, who already own electric cars, are telling me that they are going back to diesel and petrol cars due to a lack of charging points or poor battery range when travelling long journeys with electric vehicles.”

He appealed to the government to consider all options before forcing people to buy expensive electric cars.

He said it is a “downright disgrace what is happening with good petrol and diesel cars being sent for scrapping”.

“This is wilful waste, and I was always told that wilful waste makes woeful want,” concluded the deputy.

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