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Letters / Just thinking out loud

Regarding your recent article on SIC debating introducing EV charge, as an EV driver, by accident, rather than design, I fully appreciate there is, and should not be no ‘free lunch’ for EV drivers. EV’s I hope are purely transitional to hydrogen vehicles, but more importantly a major reduction in extremely wasteful individual vehicle owning.

Councillors to consider introduction of electric vehicle charger fees

Proper public transport and car sharing/clubs would dramatically reduce our American cousins’ inspired love affair with the car and false sense of freedom it gives us.

Most of the journeys in Shetland are people in single occupancy vehicles it seems – a nonsense, especially in a set of small communities where cooperation should be possible to reduce transport costs with fuel costs going through the roof.

Car sharing through car clubs and/or safe hitching as in Germany could be really useful in Shetland, especially in remoter rural areas where residents may not have/be able to afford a car, especially for elderly or young people.

I’d love to know who the ‘council bosses’ are in your article. Does your journalist know? This anonymity in public affairs is an issue for our council’s culture, I fear.

My experience of the past two and a half years is one of a Kafkaesque proportion, shrouded in Weberian technocracy.

Is it officers or elected members prompting this change in policy due to costs being incurred by the council?

Have they considered that the nascent wind energy industry has had so very, very little, relatively, public subsidy compared to the billions the oil and gas industry has had in tax breaks over the past 50 years, at least, in the UK.

My proposition would be that EV charges should be pegged at a third or half the equivalent cost of petrol and diesel to continue to encourage movement away from petrol and diesel – and towards ultimately a much reduced car use culture with commensurate improvements/expansion in public transport.

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I will say straight off the bat, that EVs are not the answer, hugely polluting themselves through the required extractive industries for current battery technology, even after owning one.

I assume when charges are brought in, council electric vehicles will also have to pay EV charges. Maybe if some of the council’s reserve fund, in partnership with Shetland Charitable Trust, and SHEAP, the district heating scheme company – wholly owned by the Charitable Trust – could expand the company and start erecting/installing much more, but smaller wind turbines, tidal and air source heat pumps for every small village and hamlet in Shetland.

This way we could circumvent the full horrors of current SSE pricing, including the running of a very dirty diesel power station in Lerwick.

Shetland Telecom as part of the Shetland Energy Company would also make great sense to circumvent the horrors of overpricing by BT and their similar profit extraction from Shetland?

Just thinking out loud as ever.

James Paton

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