Conservationist dismisses fears of electric car use

The dangers of electric cars including risks of getting electrocuted are extremely low, says the Samoa Conservation Society Vice President, James Atherton.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, following concerns raised by Tofilau George Westbrooke in a recent article published by this newspaper, Mr. Atherton said the risks posed to the users of electric cars are very low.

Tofilau argued that electric cars are dangerous because they run on electricity, but Mr. Atherton said he disagreed with that proposition.

He also said he disagreed with Tofilau’s comments that people could die from their use of electric cars, and added that he understands electric cars are actually safer than cars driven with fossil fuels.

“There can be issues with batteries but companies that make electric cars work very hard to secure the batteries from impact in a crash and they are very unlikely to cause a fire,” he said.

When asked about the chances of someone getting electrocuted, Mr Atherton said that would be extremely low as technology is improving over time and the use of electric cars has become standard in many countries.

“It’s not 100 per cent guaranteed that there would be no accidents because accidents happen," he said but the risks are so low. 

Though one point Mr Atherton said agrees with Tofilau on is the need for consultation by the Government on the use of electric cars. 

Mr. Atherton explained that climate change is not killing people instantly but it is over time which he explained is one of the problems of climate change as it takes time for it to have an impact.

He further stated that the Government is doing the right thing and he fully supports it. 

Mr. Atherton further explained that last weekend was the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Change Agreement which set new standards for the world, and he is of the view that we should be supportive of the Government's efforts in Samoa to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to go renewable.

He also added that at next year’s COP26 of the Climate Change Convention, every country is asked to present on what they are doing and their National Determined Contributions, which Samoa is currently working on to present at the next meeting.

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