CORK County Council should be leading the way by providing charging points for electric cars, particularly in towns and villages along the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW), according to one West Cork councillor.
Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) raised the motion at a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and pointed out that the fact that there is a national movement to encourage more electric cars makong it even more relevant.
He said that it had been brought to his attention by business owners asking for the e-charging points at their premises.
‘If you drive along the WAW it’s an opportune time to stop and charge your electric car. You’ve got to be ahead of the posse in all these things. We are actually at the starting point of the route and at the end of it, and we should get onto those who provide these charging points,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) seconded the motion, pointing out that there is only one charging point in Kinsale.
‘There is a ferocious deficit here and I think it’s critical we get more and more charging points. There should also be a limit too, as to how long it can be used for as some could be stuck on it all day and taking up a car space,’ said Cllr Murphy, who was told by officials that car users can be fined for this.
Cllr Murphy described the recent news that the ESB is set to charge for the use of these charging points as a ‘disincentive’ .
However, Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) disagreed with this and said that charging for using them is the best move the ESB has made in a long time. He said that people with electric cars should do the bulk of their charging at home, using night rate electricity and only use these public charging points to top up when appropriate.
‘This idea of coming into work and parking it up and charging all day is environmental madness and bad,’ said Cllr Coleman.
Cllr Sean O’Donovan (FF) supported the motion also and said that certain tourist spots should have the charging points but that people should generally charge their cars at home and free up spaces.
Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG) said it’s up to the ESB to put in more charging points as they are making a business out of it now.
Senior executive engineer Charlie McCarthy said that if you put one in, you are then taking away a car space.
‘The whole logistics of providing charging points in public areas for the volumes if everyone goes electric is going to be a major issue and it’s not practical,’ said Mr McCarthy.
Executive engineer Brendan Fehily said the right way to charge electric cars is at night-time when the usage is low and it’s more environmentally-friendly.
From Monday of this week, users of the ESB e-charging points have had to pay. They pay 33c per kilowatt hour on a pay-as-you go basis, or pay a €5 per month membership fee which entitles them to a reduced charge of 29c.