Transport accounted for 24% of the Island’s emissions in 2019, making it our second-largest emissions category after electricity generation.
A well-known approach to reducing emissions associated with transport is the green transport hierarchy whereby active travel like walking and cycling is prioritised, followed by public transport, taxis, car shares, and finally, private cars. Thanks to technological advances, our vehicles are becoming greener, too.
Electric vehicles are made up of two electric motors powered by the energy stored in a battery pack: these vehicles require a connection to the electrical network to recharge. Unlike petrol and diesel engine cars, electric vehicles don't burn any fuel. This means zero CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere when they are driven.
The Isle of Man has a good public transport system that serves the main towns and villages. Facilities for active travel – such as cycling routes and bicycle storage – are improving all the time. However, it is acknowledged that private fossil fuel vehicles are important to many people and of particular importance to those in rural areas. Alternatives to fossil fuel vehicles, for example, electric or biofuel vehicles, will be an essential part of the transition.
We are currently undertaking a new Transport Decarbonisation Strategy that will provide us with a roadmap for the decarbonisation of transport.
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Benefits of electric vehicles
By choosing an electric vehicle, you are helping our Island combat climate change.
There are plenty of reasons to use electric vehicles. Here are the top ten highlights:
- the energy efficiency of the electric vehicle is almost double that of the internal combustion
- there is no pollution, as it is not burning any fuel. Similarly, it does not expel gases such as CO2 and does not depend on limited energy
- they run very quietly and so contributes to reducing noise pollution
- it does not need oil or constant checks, so its maintenance is much cheaper
- electric recharging is cheaper than filling a tank with gasoline or diesel
- it can be recharged at home through conventional plugs
- thanks to regenerative brakes, electric car batteries store kinetic energy that escapes as heat when braking
- gears shift automatically, are clutchless and have low wear, so are much easier to drive
- the new lithium-ion batteries extend the autonomy of the electric car up to 150 km
- they are eco-friendly.
Know your electric cars
An electric vehicle is one powered (in whole or in part) by a battery that plugs directly into mains electricity, and there are many varying options.
Battery electric vehicle
Also known as a ‘pure’ electric vehicle, these cars are powered solely by a battery charged from mains electricity and have a range of 100 to 300 miles per charge. They can be driven by holders of automatic licences, too, as they have no gearbox.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
These cars have a battery plus an internal combustion engine (ICE). Once the electric range of up to 50 miles is used, the PHEV reverts to hybrid power, meaning there are no limits in terms of the range.
Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV)
Like plug-in hybrids, E-REVs have a battery, electric drive motor, and a petrol or diesel generator. The internal combustion engine acts as a generator when the battery is depleted, meaning the range can be extended up to 300 miles.
Electric vehicle charging points
Manx Utilities are continuing to roll out more electric vehicle charging points.
They have introduced their first EV public rapid charging point as part of a ‘pay-for-use’ charging network.
The unit is conveniently located at the Sea Terminal to accommodate residents, businesses and visitors; and brings the current potential Island offering for EV public charge points to 51.
The new rapid charge point is capable of providing 100 miles of range for a 30 minute charge based on 4 miles per kWh at a cost of 25p per kWh (approx. 7p per mile) which is competitive with UK pricing and less than petrol or diesel fuel alternatives.