Feedback rates and electric cars


Sir, – Your article on the costs of running an electric car by Neil Briscoe (Motors, April 28) omits a possible very important additional contribution to cost reduction: the possibility of generating the necessary electricity using photovoltaic (PV) panels. My wife and I recently considered the possibility of installing a PV system and had a lengthy meeting with a potential contractor. Considering our use of electricity, he indicated that the only way such a system would be economically reasonable for us was if we had an electric car. Even then, the cost of installing the PV system would be too high to justify its installation if a battery storage system were also to be installed. This additional cost could be avoided if the electricity supplier, in our case Electric Ireland, had to pay a full retail tariff for unused electricity sent back to the grid rather than just the wholesale tariff. The government could consider subsidizing the difference between the wholesale and retail prices so that the payment in return is equal to the retail price. Such a high return tariff would encourage households to consider installing PV systems and thus contribute to the country’s renewable energy production. Such a provision would also encourage the use of electric vehicles since recharging could take place at any time of the day or night. – Yours, etc.,



Co Galway.


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