Earlier this year the government revealed targets to have one million electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030, but the panel at Dooley Motors ‘Future of Motoring’ event was unanimous in its assessment that these targets are overly ambitious and not based on the reality of cost and infrastructure.
However, they also agreed that the future of motoring is electric and the industry is undergoing rapid change to make this a reality.
“Targets for electric vehicles are wildly ambitious, change can happen with the right measures, but cannot happen overnight, and sensible policies aimed at encouraging motorist to make the right choices can lead to clean affordable and convenient mobility solutions. It is important that the industry and government work closely together in relation to the drive towards zero-emissions,” said Tom Cullen, director of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
MC for the event Eimear Ní Bhraonáin of KCLR with guest speakers Paul O’Sullivan, Ford Ireland Sales Director and Ronan Flood, MD of Kia Ireland
Dooley Motors Carlow Ford and Kia dealership held a panel discussion this week with motoring experts from Ford and Kia as well as Mr. Cullen, to discuss the impact of the latest digital technology and green trends on the design, ownership, cost and use of the cars of the future in Ireland. Hosted by Eimear Ní Bhraonáin of KCLR, the panel provided excellent insights about how these developments will impact on consumers now and in the future.
The panel discussed the exciting experience of driving electric cars, particularly the speed of acceleration and the way that hybrid cars change driving habits in a positive way, as drivers move to a more even paced driving pattern to minimise use of fuel.
The panel discussed the future of autonomous driving and SIMI’s Tom Cullen noted that Ireland is in a leading position to influence the development of this technology with exciting new start-ups in Ireland delivering ground-breaking technology in autonomous driving.
Paul O’Sullivan, sales director Ford Ireland was positive about the future of motoring in Ireland, stating: “Ford are investing millions in exploring exciting technologies in autonomous driving and electric vehicles. In 2020, Ford will have a hybrid or electric option for all our key models.”
Ronan Flood, MD Kia Motors Ireland said: “The future of motoring was about giving choices to consumers so that they had options to meet their personal driving needs whether that is long distance driving or city driving. Kia have ensured that we have a range of vehicles to meet all customer needs from fuel efficient diesel and petrol models, Ireland’s bestselling plug in hybrid the Niro PHEV and our 400kms plus EV models e Niro and Irish Car of the Year 2020 the Kia e Soul.”
The event was well attended with representatives from local government, Chambers of Commerce and senior management from Ford and Kia who joined over 50 guests to hear the panel discussion.
David Swaine, product sales specialist from Tokheim Services Group (TSG) provided a demonstration of a fast charging unit and provided insights about how the electric charging infrastructure is rapidly building. Swaine added: “Employers are increasingly installing charging units in office parking areas so that employees can charge their vehicle while at work. In the future, we can see EV charging units being an added benefit to help attract staff.”
Rowena Dooley, dealer principal at Dooley Motors was delighted with the event and concluded: “We decided to hold this event to address the questions that we are consistently receiving from ordinary people who are aware of the significant changes coming down the tracks but uncertain about what it means now for them for their next car purchase.”