Electrified road could slash cost of electric cars

A two-kilometre electrified road is being tested in Sweden to enable fossil-free transport.

The project, eRoadArlanda, uses conductive technology which transfers energy to the vehicle from a rail-embedded road.

The cutting-edge technology could help slash the cost of electric cars.

Backed by the Swedish Transport Administration, the charging-while-driving cutting-edge technology will allow for smaller batteries which it is hoped will bring down the cost of electric cars.

Meanwhile, online searches for electric and hybrid cars have surged by 62% in the past year in a signal that Irish drivers may be moving towards fossil-free motoring.

The motoring website DoneDeal.ie surveyed over 1,000 people who were seeking to purchase a car and found 41% of respondents were interested in the electric option.

A total of 22% said they were in the market for a vehicle between one and three years old.

A further 8% were interested in a car between four and six years of age, with the remainder in the market for a vehicle seven years or older.

Diesel drivers accounted for 67% of those in the market for a replacement vehicle, with petrol drivers at 29%, followed by hybrid (3%), and electric (1%) rounded out the responses.

The website survey found diesel drivers were the least likely to switch to an electric/hybrid with just 1% showing an interest.

In contrast, 5% of petrol drivers were actively considering a hybrid/electric car as their next car purchase.

In Dublin, 2% of respondents indicated they currently drive a hybrid or electric vehicle, while 5% of those living in the capital said they were actively seeking a hybrid or electric vehicle as their next car purchase.

The views were reflected in the increased search activity for electric and hybrid cars on DoneDeal.ie.

However, outside of Dublin, increased activity in online searches was less pronounced with just 1% of motorists driving an electric/hybrid and just 1% considering an electric vehicle for purchase.

DoneDeal.ie spokesperson Adam Ferguson said the sharp increase in interest in electric and hybrid cars was notable as they currently make up a small percentage of the new and used car stock on the market in Ireland.

“This large increase in the number of searches for electric and hybrid cars reflects the results we saw in our latest survey.

Consumers, especially those in urban areas are looking to buy eco-friendly vehicles,” Mr Ferguson said.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has issued a new legislative proposal on the Motor Insurance Directive which would require all e-bike users to have third party insurance.

Irish MEP Brian Hayes criticised the move as “perplexing”.

“More and more electric bikes are on our streets in Ireland and across the EU,” he said.

“They offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to using a car and are increasingly used by people as a means of transport to work. The rise of electric bikes has been a huge success story and the commission’s proposal would bring that story to an end with this harsh proposal.”

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