By Dan Walsh
Local journalist Caroline Kidd has been announced as the chair of this year’s Electric Vehicle Summit, an event, organised by iQuest & Business Post Live, and a high-level business forum to discuss the future of electric vehicles (EVs) in Ireland based on the dual themes of business engagement and thought leadership from the most senior, influential and informed people in the sector.
Caroline who comes from Bunclody, is a motoring journalist, juror for Irish Car of the Year, and the editor of Changing Lanes. Caroline founded Changing Lanes in 2014 as a simple automotive blog where she could share her passion for cars. Changing Lanes has grown to become a leading online automotive magazine and trusted authority on new cars and the motor industry. Caroline has road tested hundreds of new cars and travelled around Europe to report from new car launches.
Speaking ahead of the event, Caroline said: “Electric vehicles will play a major role in reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions from transport. Sales are growing year on year, with huge investment from car manufacturers to bring new models to market. Yet EVs still account for less than 4% of the new car market in Ireland indicating that major change is required to accelerate our move to electric.
“As battery technology improves, range anxiety becomes less of an issue. But consumers will need to see a well-maintained, ubiquitous public charging network in place before a widescale adoption of EVs can take place. Despite grants and incentives, price and availability remain an obstacle for many consumers.
“Real leadership and a coordinated effort from Government and stakeholders is needed before Irish consumers will swap diesel and petrol cars for zero emission electric models in great numbers. But when the tipping point happens once issues of price, availability and infrastructure are resolved, I believe it will happen very quickly, and driving a combustion engine car will become very unfashionable very quickly. We have seen how Irish consumers have adapted quickly to trends such as SUVs and hybrids. I expect the same will happen with electric vehicles.”
This year’s Electric Vehicle Summit will address the impact of Coronavirus on the industry, deliver an update on new government policy, as well as cover a wide range of subjects pertinent to electric vehicles going forward.
Caroline will be joined by speakers including Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Christina Bu, Norwegian EV Association, Colin McKerracher, Head of Advanced Transport, Bloomberg, Joachim Brandt, Head of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, Gemserv, and Anne Graham, Chief Executive, National Transport Authority. Caroline Kidd will also chair several panel discussions between motor industry executives and other stakeholders.
The Electric Vehicle Summit 2020 will take place on October 15th.