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The Cost of Going Green

Pricing for the new Nissan electric vehicle the Leaf (nice green name) seems to suggest that Nissan and/or their battery provider NEC are taking a loss on every Leaf it sells in the U.S. This is obviously being done in order to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

The major issue with electric vehicle is two-fold. Firstly as they take electric power directly from the gird, a grid that is not prepared for mass-use of such vehicles, a major jump in usage would cause a major strain on the Irish grid. The Green party is very enthusiastic about electric vehicles but there is a major infrastructure capital cost that has to be taken into account.

And there isn’t just the power load issue, but also the fact that electric vehicles need to be re-charged. Intra-city activity in a city the size of Dublin might be possible with a certain amount of recharge stations being made available but trips to the suburbs or in the country suddenly become risky.

Similar to the electrification of Ireland, there needs to be a roll-out plan that can handle the issues with electric vehicles that use recharge batteries like the Nissan model. But in the current climate who is going to pay for it? If the manufacturers are already selling at a loss to get any form of market penetration of this new concept cars, what chance that they will put their hands in their pockets again? We need a long-term investment strategy if this is to become a serious option. And that is without the issue of where the extra electricity generation is going to come from….

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