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Report Concludes that 10% Deployment of Existing Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles Could Deliver 3.5% Cut in Irish Road Transport CO2 Emissions

Replacement of 10% of cars, vans and buses in Ireland with currently available models of hybrid and battery electric vehicles could reduce national CO2 emissions by 0.35 million tonnes annually, according to a study on the Costs and Benefits of the use of Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles in Ireland, conducted by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI). Total CO2 emissions from the road transport sector (excluding air, sea and freight transport) in Ireland in 2006 amounted to approximately 10 million tonnes.

The report found that efficiency improvements for adopting currently available hybrid and battery electric vehicles to replace conventional vehicles are greatest for vans, cars and buses in urban service. Specifically, the report found that:

  • On a per vehicle basis, the largest CO2 emission reductions can be achieved by switching full size / midi buses to battery electric, plug-in-hybrid or hybrid vehicles. However, at the current time, there are few large size / midi electric buses in operation and no plug-in-hybrid buses available for sale in Ireland. Therefore, switching full size/midi buses to hybrids is the most appropriate substitute to make (if costs are disregarded) at the present time.

  • If 10% of either the car, van or bus fleet was going to be switched, then the most beneficial in terms of CO2 emission reductions is to switch gasoline cars to battery electric cars. The second most beneficial switch is from petrol cars to diesel hybrid cars. However, these would both have cost implications.

    The emissions benefit is predicated on an average power generation scenario, which includes nuclear. Remove nuclear power from the calculations, and the battery electric vehicle has a higher CO2 footprint than a hybrid or a conventional diesel car, according to work at the University of Liege (Belgium) cited in the report.

  • The most cost-effective options are to switch conventional gasoline vans to either gasoline or diesel hybrids. These switches lead to cost savings and CO2 savings and hence lead to a high benefit to cost ratio.

This research is of particular importance within the context of our ability to understand how we can use currently available technologies to bring about improvements in the CO2 intensity of the transport sector. Ireland has targets to meet in terms of reduction of CO2 and with the transport sector currently accounting for 35% of energy related emissions it is imperative that we prioritize measures to bring about meaningful reductions in the short to medium term.

—Brendan Halligan, Chairman, SEI

According to recommendations made in the reports, fleet vehicles in cities or urban areas should be targeted first under any plans to bring about a move to the use of hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles. Urban road transport is by its nature more fuel intensive and organizations with large numbers of vehicles in urban use, such as municipal vehicles, police and public transport fleets, would benefit most from efficiencies associated with the integration of Hybrid or Battery Electric Vehicles into their fleets.

Policies which should be examined as part of a wider policy review to ensure that obstacles to the introduction of such vehicles in Ireland are minimized, include a review of the taxation system in the aftermath of the introduction of the new VRT regulations as well as the existing regulatory framework for the use of non conventional road vehicles. Other supporting measures for stimulating uptake which have been suggested in the reports include subsidies for vehicle purchase or conversion, subsidies for refuelling infrastructure, common procurement and public private partnerships.

SEI published the study’s findings in the form of two reports, Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles: Technology, Costs and Benefits and Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles: Measures to Stimulate Uptake. SEI has also published a buyers guide and cost of ownership calculator in order to assist vehicle owners in their purchasing decisions.

In 2006 the transport sector in Ireland was the only sector in the economy not to experience either reductions in energy related C02 emissions or low levels of growth compared with the previous year. The transport sector recorded a 7.1% growth in emissions in 2006 compared to 2005. Transport now accounts for 35% of energy related emissions.

The study undertaken by SEI included a review of the primary potential candidate owner groupings and uses for hybrid electric vehicles, plug in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles. A review of the electricity supply implications for the widespread use of battery electric vehicles was also undertaken while SEI also examined worldwide experiences in the use of hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric fleets.

Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is the statutory authority charged with promoting and assisting the development of sustainable energy in the country. SEI is funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, with programs part-financed by the European Union.




These emissions savings don't sound a lot compared some 30 billions tonnes world wide every year. If we use less oil we are perhaps solving two problems at the same time, namely looming fuel shortages and climate change. However it's a big leap from a small country just talking about it to every country actually doing something.


Agreed, fuel efficiency is most important. Besides, a new report came out by climatologist that support global warming. They found something very interesting...

"Climate scientist Noel Keenlyside, leading a team from Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Science and the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, for the first time entered verifiable data on ocean circulation cycles into one of the U. N.'s climate supercomputers, and the machine spit out a projection that there will be no more warming for the foreseeable future."

Just to repeat, "no more warming for the foreseeable future"


"Last year, for instance, saw a drop in the global average temperature of nearly 0.7 degrees C (the largest single-year movement up or down since global temperature averages have been calculated). Despite advanced predictions that 2007 would be the warmest year on record, made by such UN associates as Britain's Hadley Centre, a government climate research agency, 2007 was the coolest year since at least 1993."

New data in UN Model Predicts Cooling

Their models were wrong. They predicted warmest ever and received coolest ever.

Using less oil as stated, solves two problems at once, in fact three - reduction of Middle East oil use. Instead of forcing our companies to drill in dangerous third world countries, our country should open its resources for short term stimulus and reduction of prices. A compromise is required, not panic as forced mandates and taxation at trillions of dollars when our own social security system is going bankrupt.

"Cooler" heads need to prevail while all around run like chickens with their heads cut off. I am all for reducing pollution, but reasonably and with somee priorities by first ridding ourselves off of foreign oil.

John Taylor

Several points

1 ) Yes, switching to BEV & PHEV cars will improve emissions. Battery Electric Vehicles don't have emissions.

2 ) Yes, relying on a coal fired grid makes no sense. New power to charge Electric cars aught to come from clean sources, such as wind power. Perhaps most all the grid could and should be wind powered.

3 ) "refueling infrastructure," ~ This means make public plugs available, preferably in shopping mall parking lots.
"common procurement" ~ This means sell BEV cars. People can't buy what isn't for sale.

If every country did this, air quality would improve.

@ 3:46:28 AM ~> You are quick to pop onto a hyped story that totally fails to meet peer review. The reason we are experiencing a cold year is because 1/2 of the arctic ice broke up and floated south last summer. We can expect another cold year if the other half goes this summer. After that, the ice box is mostly empty till Greenland or West Antarctic melt.

I think we need to act now, not wait for further disaster, and not go deliberately causing further disaster by drilling in sensitive areas.


I see BEV's for sale but they all have a restriction on
how fast you can travel which is 25mph. This restriction will keep us from buying. When I ask why, the salesman says it's because the vehicle does not have
an airbag. I'm beginning to feel like a concerted effort is being made to keep EV's from the public. Watching CSPAN the other day I was listening to some
Senators talking about a tax bill they are going to vote
on that will provide trillion's of dollars by taxing electricity. Maybe then we can buy the EV.

@ Jerry
The 25mph car is fine as a second car for some people, but we really do need highway speeds for our primary transportation.

This nutty low speed car deal is only good for new companies to get into business as startups. The second generation Electric cars all need to have full safety equipment and speed / range capability. We do see the technology available and even in production. (google Zap)


That University of Liege report isn't worth the toilet paper it's written on.

It is quite saddening how poorly informed many self-proclaimed "experts" are in various fields, but I suppose it does keep them on the gravy train....


I continue to be fascinated by those who are so quick to jump on a miscellaneous paper or report or study here and there, saying 'look, look, see - somebody said there is no climate change - we don't need to do anything'. It seems a number of people refuse to be part of a trend that 'simply optimizes' our energy consumption by reducing the impact each one of our lifestyles has. I am unaware of any huge structural changes or gut-wrenching sacrifices that are being hoisted upon anyone anywhere. It seems that the people screaming the loudest and waving their hands about in some crazed fashion are the ones who are acting as if: they are running around with their heads cut off. I can't imagine what huge life-altering changes these people think are coming that are any different from any other period of economic-slow-down or weather-related tragedy or other such challenging event.
It reminds me of the type of people who refuse to eat healthily, reduce stress, and exercise just because they can point to a few people who lived until 75 with no problems - why bother? they say - no one knows how long I will live - sure many scientists say living healthy will prolong life - but 'look, look, see -> somebody says I can live long without doing this or that'.
It is almost like people are trying to do as little as possible to get by. Are they not happy with the life they have chosen that they refuse to be part of a society-improving initiative. Do they think that the world owes them a good and meaningful life simply because they were born? It would be interesting to see what other value systems correlate with this desire to do nothing, because hey, they deserve to do as little as possible (sic) --> maybe these people also hunt or refuse to be a part of any volunteering or charitable agency or maybe these people never travel outside of westernized culture or have never camped or hiked or feel the need to use a/c at the slightest discomfort. fascinating people, I say - fascinating.


The most important thing you can do to save the Planet is to stop eating MEAT, yes you can do this today.. your health will improve, your wallet will improve.. just do it. Forget what other people drive or do, just own up to the problem and do it..

Me?, I will just continue eating large burgers until I die or it just gets too expensive.. I am a global warming agnostic.



You correctly stated that (unfortunately) the majority may not want to change their acquired behavior, are anchored to their habits and will keep looking for ways to justify their inability to adapt to changing environment. Many obstinated people will continue to drive their 4-ton V-8 Hummers and similar oversized gas guzzlers on city streets as long as they are available and we let them freely do it.

Revenues from liquid fuel taxes could be stabilized by adjusting taxes reversely proportional to sales. In other words, when fuel sales go down 10% taxes would automatically go up 10% to compensate.

Eventually, electricity from coal fired generating plants will have to be taxed with due regards to the pollution created. Something equivalent to about 50 Euro/ton of CO2 created could be a good starting point.

There will always be a hard core of denying scoffers to repudiate factual evidences.


bold off?



“for the first time entered verifiable data on ocean circulation cycles into one of the U. N.'s climate supercomputers, and the machine spit out a projection that there will be no more warming for the foreseeable future."


The New 800,000 year ice core study shows a pattern of climate behavior that deals with ocean circulation cycles as a causative factor in climate change.

At the end of recent epochs of warming, arctic ice cover disappeared. Climate became increasing variable, with increasing swings in year to year average temperature, both on the warmer and cooler side. The disappearance of the arctic ice cover caused a breakdown of the worldwide ocean circulation cycle which resulted in a world wide failure in the heat distribution system.

This failure then resulted in the onset of the ice age.

In summary, the condition of concern to watch for is as follows:

- loss in arctic ice cover
- -increase in yearly climate variability
- Breakdown of worldwide ocean currents.


"as long as they are available and we let them freely do it"

HarveyD, your views frighten me.

While I think Hummers in most civilian situations are overkill, I still believe in freedom of choice and expression. What is needed is a better Hummer, one that doesn't guzzle so much gas and pollutes less. Come on engineers the ball is in your court.


I found a easier read on the “Breakdown of worldwide ocean currents” subject as follows:

By disturbing a massive ocean current, melting Arctic sea ice might trigger colder weather in Europe and North America.

From the New York times

But many climatologists note that the complex interplay of greenhouse gases, orbital shifts and other influences on climate remain poorly understood. In fact, some experts say, there is a chance that human-induced warming could shut down heat-toting ocean currents that keep northern latitudes warmer than they otherwise would be. The result could be a faster descent into glacial times instead of a delay.

Bob Bastard

@HarveyD, Joseph: What is needed is neither draconian laws nor engineering miracles. What is needed is for the people of North America to take a little personal responsibility in the decisions they make with regard to transportation. The people of North America should not be treated as mindless children, nor should they behave as such.
Instead of crying to the government to bail you out because you bought a larger home than you can afford, or because you can't afford the $100 fill ups for your SUV, try living within your means. Buy the vehicle that best suits 90% of your driving needs, rather than the one that some salesman tells you will be really nice for making that once every two year trip up a snow covered road to the cabin.
And as infuriating as it is to see some halfwit drag racing his 2007 Super Duty Power Stroke through town, what is needed is not some bureaucratic organization set up to determine who is worthy of purchasing light trucks, but rather closing the CAFE loopholes for SUVs and maybe half-ton trucks as well as sensible fuel taxes that go toward mitigating the external costs of petroleum use that we have for so long taken for granted. If that halfwit feels the need to clown around in a fuel guzzling $50,000 pickup, fine, but he should pay something closer to the true price of his wastefulness, rather than having the rest of us subsidize it with our tax dollars.
The problem isn't going to be solved by big brother, any more than it will be solved by some magical 100 mpg Hummer. It will be solved by individuals collectively deciding to make sound economic and environmental decision with regard to their mobility; decisions which can and should be gently influenced by sensible modification of current government policy.


…The problem isn't going to be solved by big brother…

The $11/barrel price increase to 138 has reviled the true cause of the oil price problem: speculation. Big financial institutions are manipulating the market to hedge the falling dollar. They encourage fear and uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by predicting outlandish future oil prices. This causes the price to rise which they then profit from. Oil producing countries also do their best to instill fear in the oil market to maximize the price. What the Feds should do is restrict the use of margin in the futures market to stop this speculation and price manipulation.

The hand off the market strategy does not work! Regulate, that’s what big brother should do!



Uncle Sam will not regulate oil industries for very well known, apparent reasons. Oil producers know that and they can fix the price as they feel like.

North Americans are stuck with 200 million gas guzzlers on their hands. Many cannot afford (or don't want) to change their recent gas guzzlers for more efficient vehicles such as hybrids, PHEVs and/or BEVs.

What will happen when the average driver will use $100+/week to feed his oversized vehicle? The extra financial burden will be noticeable and difficult to manage for many. Simultaneously, grain ethanol will put more pressure on food price. Feeding the driver's stomach will be another challenge. Many will have a hard choice to make.

Who will the average citizen prefer to blame? Certainly not himself. It will have to be somebody else. Have your pick.



Big money, not the oil industry, is causing a bubble in the oil market, the same way they caused a bubble in the housing market. These boys have trillions in leverage and no body is controlling them. The oil industry is being hurt too. It’s not supply and demand, it speculation and manipulation by big money. Yes I will say it; the Bush administration is either too stupid or too corrupt to do anything about it.

North Americans are stuck with 200 million gas guzzlers on their hands

We can all drive motor scooters and the same problem would prevail. The use of gas has dropped huge over the past year; why did the price of oil bump by $11 today. Not gas guzzlers; its speculation;


As an example of my last post, consider this as follows:

Wall Street Strategies' senior research analyst Conley Turner said the following:

"We remain bullish on oil and oil stocks for the long term, but at this point, it is very clear that there is a significant among of speculative money driving this trade," said Turner. "The path of least resistance for prices is higher and it will keep going up until it does not!"

"It is very possible that we can see 150 dollars before the end of this year," Turner predicted, "If this pace continues, we can reach that milestone by summer's end."

Turner is a FUD producer

Goldman Sachs raised its average oil price forecast for the second half of this year to141 dollars from 107 dollars a barrel on Friday.
Goldman, the most active investment bank in the energy market, also predicted earlier that supply shortage will send oil prices to 200 dollars a barrel within two years.

Goldman is a FUD producer

"Standing in front of this train is perhaps not the best trading strategy as capital can be lost very quickly for those market participants looking to time a reversal of this trend," said Turner, adding that this is a poignant example of the famous quote that "the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent."

looking to time a reversal of this trend

meaning don't sell .......Buy, Buy, Buy...........

the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. ......FUD

Bob Bastard

Axil, I certainly agree that there is some serious speculation and FUD manipulation going on. You merely need listen to a few Ahmadinjad or Chavez statements to realize it. However, this only works if supplies are relatively tight with respect to demand, which they are now, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. Current high prices are starting to curb wasteful petroleum use, but we could have preempted the whole thing years ago when oil was cheap by placing reasonable taxes on fuel as has been done in Europe, and/or by pursuing sustainable alternatives as was done by Brazil following the oil embargo. It seems that instead, the usual response here is to wait for a big disaster or scandal and then based on the emotion and public sentiment, draft additional legislation to add to the bureaucracy.


Mr. Bastard

It’s hard to see behind the curtain here. But this is what I suspect and predict.

OPEC controls the supply of oil, so it is going to stay tight. Those oil price drops in the past was caused by an overriding need for money by some member of OPEC, or an attempt to influence the goings on inside the USA: i.e. an election, or an appeal to a member by a friend for a favor: i.e. to win an election. Big money is colluding with OPEC to make another whopping killing in the market. As a matter of fact, OPEC is a big part of Big Money: i.e. sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

The administration should declare financial war on these guys. Is that likely with George and Dick at the helm? Remember it’s these oil men that did not make those decisions you mentioned in your post. Yesterday, the Warner bill was killed. That bill would have funded trillions to alternative fuel development. Do you see a pattern yet?


If asked Bush & Co would probably say the run up concerns them as well but they did just give everybody $600 back. I'm not sure what kind of regulation the FED could inact that wouldn't have major ramifications in the overall market. The Warner bill died in congress, Barber Boxer couldn't even get the majority of Democrates to go along with her. Too many Dem's wanted to add more pork to the bill and it died.

Six weeks ago the oil supply was pretty tight but thats really not the case right now. Over the past 4 weeks the distilate stocks have been going up and the days supply on hand has increased by some three days. The stocks are still slightly below where they were last year but demand is dropping like a rock. Almost all of the indicators suggest that the price should be going down not up. I thought the market was trying to correct itself when the price dropped to $122, but then someone put a ton of cash in it today and it broke a new high $138. I have no doubt that the speculators will do everything they can to push for the $200 mark. However, if they are going to do it they better do it quick. Because in about 3 weeks the realization will hit that the airlines are eliminating over a thousand flights a day and at $4 plus a gallon the sumer driving season is only slightly more than vaporware.


Oil has been too cheap for too long. Is it a bubble or is it correcting? We still buy at $138 a barrel. It is painful for many but if the price remains, we will reduce use. High oil prices are good for the environment and will only promote "green cars" and make them more "affordable".

Why do so many here attack oil prices?

Gas gets my 3000 pound vehicle (which is overkill) down the road a mile for 7 cents - wow that is cheap! (HCH - 55 mpg average). I'd expect to pay at least 25 cents in a rational view of what it is worth (math - $16 a gallon or $500 a barrel)


Four years ago (egads, it's really been that long!) I calculated the worst-case cost of a solar-charged electric car at 9.3¢/mile.  Those figures assumed US gasoline around $2.20/gallon; it's now around $4 here, and much higher in states like California.

Technology changes some of those cost assumptions, for the better.  PHEV has better control over state of charge and could extend the battery lifespan figures considerably.  The combination of PHEV and non-fossil electricity would allow radical reductions of both oil consumption and carbon emissions (as well as slashing pollutant emissions and noise).  These improvements can now be made at a profit.

If that halfwit feels the need to clown around in a fuel guzzling $50,000 pickup, fine, but he should pay something closer to the true price of his wastefulness
In other words, what America needs is $5/gallon gasoline.


I'm not sure what kind of regulation the FED could inact that wouldn't have major ramifications in the overall market.

An Administration should employ an army of financial “solders” to look after the interests of the people and “win”!

Barber Boxer couldn't even get the majority of Democrats to go along with her

54 Senators both Reps and Dems. But 60 are required to break filibuster and veto. That not easy to get. Maybe some more green Senators are needed. Pork has been a part of government since 1776. I can live with a little pork if the goal is true.

I thought the market was trying to correct itself

The oil market is now a Ponzi scheme where the last man in is the loser.


High oil prices are good for the environment and will only promote "green cars" and make them more "affordable".

High oil prices will cause a recession and then an eventual depression, with no jobs. The average Joe will be lucky to get a square meal let alone buy a new "affordable" green car. That will be a high price for kicking the oil habit. Be careful what you hope for.


The combination of PHEV and non-fossil electricity would allow radical reductions of both oil consumption and carbon emissions (as well as slashing pollutant emissions and noise). These improvements can now be made at a profit.

A profit????

There is an estimate of 45 trillion to transition world wide off the fossil fuel economy. That’s a lot of money and pain. Together with a 54 trillion federal long term indebtedness, wow! Is your nest egg up for it? Start looking for a cave to live in!

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