A motoring writer and Douglas Councillor is calling on the gov to facilitate more people to move to electric vehicles by offering incentives and improving infrastructure.
It was confirmed last week that the number of EVs on the island has more than doubled in the last two years.
Frank Schuengel, an eGaming executive, says he has been a long-time supporter of electric vehicles and that he is of the opinion that the electric revolution on our roads will come sooner than we think and that more should be done to help those willing to buy an EV now.
Everyone, from petrol heads to Sunday drivers, knows that the internal combustion engine is on its way out, but Frank said this is coming sooner than we think.
Frank explained: ‘Current plans seem to revolve around the year 2030 for the biggest changes to take place, but recent sales statistics paint a very different picture. A total of 162,022 full battery-electric vehicles have been sold in the UK to date, up 88.9% year on year and accounting for 10.6% of all cars sold this year. Electric cars are also being sold at a much faster pace on the Isle of Man than most people anticipated, meaning the switchover is bound to happen much sooner than currently planned.
‘The Isle of Man government must ensure we are not left behind when it comes to getting more EVs onto our roads. Right now, there are little to no incentives available for petrol or diesel drivers to take the plunge. While other countries offer generous subsidies for private and commercial buyers of electric vehicles – up to EUR 9,000 in Germany for example – all an Isle of Man buyer currently gets is a lower vehicle tax rate. This often doesn’t make up for the still higher base price of many new and used electric cars, meaning the way we will drive in future remains out of reach for many.’
While Frank acknowledges that work has been done to aid EV drivers, such as installing charge points on the prom and around the island, as well as the introduction of cheaper electricity at night to make charging affordable, he says more can still be done to encourage people to ditch petrol.
He said: ‘ A subsidy to make BEVs more affordable would be an important step towards more zero emission vehicles on our roads. Next to that, the government should also consider offering grants or subsidies for the installation of home charging points that can easily cost more than £1,000 to fit. A scrappage scheme to get especially old and polluting cars off the roads would also be beneficial.
‘Getting more zero emission vehicles onto our roads is also in our own interest as a place that likes to pride itself for its clean air and immaculate countryside. EVs emit no harmful emissions, unlike the thousands of ICE cars on our roads, the vast majority of which are never tested for compliance with emission rules once they are registered here.’
Frank added that: ‘Contrary to some pub level rumours, the island’s electricity grid can support many thousands of EVs and what we need now is government support to get people behind the wheels of them and give everyone a chance of being part in the biggest change to mobility since the motorcar was invented.’
Born and raised in Germany, Frank moved to the island in 2000 and has since worked in various eGaming
related roles here and around the world. He writes for Philippine motoring magazine Visor and his own
local motoring site FrankDrives.com and was recently elected councillor for the Douglas South Ward.