IEVOA comments

Tomorrow will be the Irish EV Owners Associations AGM. For the most part, this is a big performance to initiate an election of the new committee. I've been a part of this since 2019, and am currently the chair. But tomorrow, I will step down to go into a non-portfolio role and step aside entirely next year.

Instead of locking my thoughts away, I thought I would jot them down here.

It's first worth acknowledging that when I joined, the association was a few hundred actual members with a tiny portion contributing subscription fees to help keep the lights on. Today, with much effort involved, the formal members association is tenfold bigger. And a sizeable percentage generously subscribe with €20 a year to help keep the lights on. Moreover, the association now has corporate membership which has helped elevate the mission and vision of the association.

But the association can't rest on these laurels. In fact, it must change. In the next term, with a newly elected committee, the mandate being asked of members is to continue to adapt for the current market trends and the needs of EV drivers of the future as we consider a just transition in a modern economy. And that's while being conscious of the macro economic climate we see today.

There are several proposals you'll hear today in more detail, as well as new ones as the year goes on. The most exciting are going to be the introduction of an executive role to spend more time working on IEVOA initiatives in return for a modest salary. I envision this expanding over time to new roles, including an administrator to help run the day to day. I also expect the association to change name and branding to align more to our neighbours and expand beyond EV ownership and more into the broad EV ecosystem in Ireland. Moving from IEVOA to IEVA gives an opportunity to freshen the brand, but also think longer term.

I will step aside as chair coming into this term as it simply demands more time than I can offer. But I will, votes willing, stick around on the committee to provide directional guidance to the new term committee members. The proposed changes to the committee are whole-heartedly supported by me.

But I'm not the only one changing this year. I want to highlight some folks leaving the committee who have done wonderful work; Blake Boland, Peter Bracken and Paul Kelly. I want to highlight the steadfast work done by Jan-Bart Spang, who is stepping down as administrator of our Facebook group.

And as is always the case with these AGMs, change is coming. Change is good. IEVOA needs to continuously evolve, engage with members and ensure a just transition is on the agenda at local & national level. The top of the funnel for EV purchasing is extremely healthy. Even if the goalposts move on when the EU bans sale of fossil vehicles, I suspect that won't deter many consumers from transitioning to an EV. If there's a change coming within a decade, no one will want a fossil vehicle that rapidly devalues so quickly anyway. I'm not concerned about that. I am concerned about Ireland's ability to provide adequate services, see the opportunities provided by EVs and push a climate-friendly agenda around the electrification of our fleet. All while rethinking our towns and cities away from logjammed car parks into living, breathing spaces for people with no emissions to concern them.

EVs present an incredible opportunity. Especially on a small island like Ireland. IEVOA has always advocated for a better way of thinking about how a just transition happens, inclusive of all people on the island. And that will not change going into the 2023 term.