“Technology has not advanced to a stage” where Clare County Council can switch their outdoor crew vehicles away from diesel engines however the local authority is looking into the option of electric cars for traffic wardens.

Independent councillor Ian Lynch asked the local authority at it’s adjourned June meeting to “request the ESB to reconnect all electric charging points that have been removed”, “commence a programme of purchasing electric vehicles to replace the existing outdoor maintenance crew diesel vehicles” and to make “special provision” in annual budgets going forward for “environmental initiatives”.

In her reply, Director of Service, Carmel Kirby confirmed the Council would engage with ESB “to see if they can reconnect all electric charging points that have been removed”. She also outlined that a review carried out by their machinery yard on electric vehicles found that “technology has not advanced to a stage where we can change from diesel engines to electric for the outdoor maintenance crew vehicles”.

“We are looking into the option of electric vehicles for other plant that will require replacement in the future where the technology has advanced sufficiently such as the diesel vans being used by the Traffic Wardens and Environmental Patrol vans. Presently the Ennistymon Municipal District Office is currently looking at procuring an electric gator to collect the rubbish from the street litter bins along the narrow streets and promenade in Lahinch”.

Kirby confirmed the Council is “committed to commencing a programme of upgrading its fleet to electric vehicles where possible”.

Investigation the possibility of electric cars for traffic wardens pleased Cllr Lynch. “The biggest pollutant we have is the transport and ESB have removed charging points which is a bit ironic”. The Kilrush representative said his motion was aimed to get councillors and the public body to start “thinking outside the box”. His motion was seconded by Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF).

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