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Geraldine Herbert

Dublin, Ireland
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About Geraldine
Geraldine Herbert is a journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. She  is columnist and motoring editor at the Sunday Independent and Ireland’s first female motoring editor of a national newspaper. A regular contributor to Radio and TV including RTE, Virgin Media and the BBC on motoring and consumer issues she has written about Transport and Motoring for over two decades. Founder and editor of Ireland’s first and only website for women on wheels -  www.wheelsforwomen.ie – bikes, cars and motorbikes
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Auto advice: What does front-wheel drive mean? Is it better than rear-wheel drive?

17 Mar 2024  |  Irish Independent
Drive-train configurations include front-wheel drive (FWD), rear-wheel drive (RWD), four-wheel drive (4WD), and all-wheel drive (AWD). FWD, common in most cars, offers better fuel economy and good traction in slippery conditions. RWD, found in sports cars, provides better handling in dry conditions but can be challenging in icy conditions. 4WD is suitable for heavy off-roading, while AWD provides excellent traction on various surfaces and is practical for regular use. The article suggests that for off-road and difficult terrain, 4WD is best, but AWD is more sensible for most people, and good tyres are essential in wintry conditions.

Review: Renault’s Arkana has an SUV’s pedigree and a coupe’s curves, but can this mixed breed be a top dog?

17 Mar 2024  |  independent.ie
The article discusses the concept of the coupe SUV, using the Renault Arkana as an example. It describes the vehicle as a combination of a hatchback, SUV, and coupe, and references BMW's X6 as a precedent in creating demand for this type of car. The review explores whether the Renault Arkana can stand out in this niche market.

Auto advice: Safer driving tips to keep you and your family safe this Christmas

17 Dec 2023  |  independent.ie
Before driving to visit family or friends, top up coolant and washer fluid, check wipers, rear window and mirror defrosting, keep fuel tank full, and ensure the battery is ready for cold weather. For electric cars, ensure adequate charge. When travelling with kids, prepare games and car-safe toys, avoid choking hazards and missiles, and reward good behavior. Keep valuables out of sight in cars, lock gifts in the boot, park in well-lit, busy areas, and consider pre-booking parking spaces. Use car sharing to reduce costs and stress, set alarms for pay and display parking, and add extra time to journeys to account for potential delays.

Auto advice: How can I make the most of the range on my electric car?

03 Dec 2023  |  independent.ie
Maximizing the range of an electric car can be achieved by easing on and off the accelerator to utilize regenerative braking, avoiding sudden speed changes, using cruise control on suitable roads, and removing non-essential items from the car. Driving at reduced speeds, using Eco mode, and not fully charging the battery regularly can also help. To minimize the use of air conditioning, which drains the battery, one can use heated seats and steering wheels or look for an EV with a heat pump. Preconditioning the car's cabin while charging overnight can pre-heat the car using mains electricity instead of the car's battery.

Review: Mercedes’ EQE SUV is elegant and luxurious with an impressive range, but the typical buyer is priced out

05 Nov 2023  |  www.independent.ie
The Mercedes-Benz EQE, launched last year, is a favorite among electric vehicles for its refinement, smoothness, and technology. Mercedes aims to attract more customers by offering the EQE as both a saloon and an all-electric SUV, which is E-Class sized.

Review: The Cupra Leon is a distinctive family hatchback with smart styling, but needs to be more special

08 Oct 2023  |  www.independent.ie
Cupra, a spin-off of SEAT, offers a range of vehicles including the all-electric Born and rebadged SEAT cars. The Cupra Leon, a key model in the lineup, aims to attract enthusiasts, expand the brand's reach, and appeal to a broader audience.

Is a weight tax the solution to problem of SUVs in leafy Dublin?

01 Oct 2023  |  www.independent.ie
A recent tragic incident in London involving an SUV has reignited the debate on the use of such vehicles in urban areas across Europe. The European Transport Safety Council described the event as a 'terrible and avoidable tragedy,' highlighting the increased damage caused by heavier vehicles. The article explores whether a weight tax could be a solution to the problem of SUVs in urban settings like Dublin.

From production to fuel, how environmentally friendly are electric vehicles compared to diesel and gasoline ones?

27 Sep 2023  |  tr.euronews.com
Electric vehicles (EVs) have become popular as a solution to the climate crisis, but their environmental friendliness is under scrutiny. EVs do not emit carbon dioxide while driving, but their production, heavy metal use in batteries, and reliance on electricity from fossil fuels raise concerns. The production phase of EVs has a higher carbon footprint compared to internal combustion engine vehicles due to the energy-intensive process of mining and producing battery materials. However, organizations like Transport & Environment report that EVs in the EU emit nearly three times less carbon than gasoline or diesel cars. Companies like Polestar aim for zero emissions by 2030, while others like Volkswagen and Toyota target zero carbon footprint by 2050. The advancement in battery technology and the shift towards renewable energy sources are expected to further reduce the carbon footprint of EVs.

From manufacturing to lifetime emissions, are electric vehicles greener than gasoline or diesel vehicles?

19 Sep 2023  |  es.euronews.com
Automakers are investing heavily in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with expectations of significant adoption by 2030. While BEVs do not emit exhaust gases, their production, especially of lithium-ion batteries, is energy-intensive. Despite higher initial emissions, BEVs have a lower carbon footprint over their lifetime compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Companies like Volkswagen, Toyota, and Polestar are setting ambitious carbon neutrality goals. Advances in battery technology and recycling are crucial for reducing environmental impact. Studies show BEVs are significantly better for the environment, with future improvements expected as the electric grid becomes greener.

Auto advice: The mechanical differences of an electric car explained

10 Sep 2023  |  www.independent.ie
Electric cars offer a unique driving experience with no gears, no clutch, and instant torque from zero rpm, making them fast at accelerating. They operate silently and require a change in driving style to maximize efficiency. Range, the distance an electric car can travel before needing a recharge, depends on battery capacity, with most new models exceeding 400km. Regenerative braking captures energy during braking to recharge the battery. Electric vehicles are clean, cost-efficient, and enjoyable to drive.

Auto advice: How to keep your kids safe on our roads as schools reopen

27 Aug 2023  |  independent.ie
As schools reopen, drivers are advised to exercise extra caution due to the potential presence of children, who may not always be attentive to traffic and could step out unexpectedly. Those dropping off children at school should avoid double parking. With an increase in children cycling to school, drivers should be vigilant, especially near driveways and parked cars, and use the 'Dutch reach' method to prevent dooring accidents. Slow and careful driving is recommended near primary schools. Parents are advised to plan safer, quieter routes for their children who walk or cycle to school and to educate them about road dangers, traffic lights, and pedestrian crossings, keeping in mind that children do not perceive risk and speed as adults do.

Review: Volkswagen's ID. Buzz is worth making a beeline for, but some may feel a sting off the price

06 Aug 2023  |  independent.ie
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is characterized as practical, stylish, and enjoyable to drive, though it is noted as being somewhat expensive.

Auto advice: Your car is overheating — stay calm and follow our top tips

23 Jul 2023  |  independent.ie
During hot weather, it's important to monitor your car's temperature gauge and coolant levels to prevent overheating. If the temperature warning light comes on, pull over safely and turn off the engine to avoid expensive damage. Low coolant levels can cause overheating, poor engine performance, and reduced fuel economy. Carry extra coolant and let the engine cool down before checking or adding coolant. If overheating persists, a leak in the cooling system may be the issue, and a garage visit is advised.

New Regulations for E-Scooters and E-Bikes Are on the Way

28 Jun 2023  |  wheelsforwomen.ie
The Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, recently signed into law in Ireland, introduces a new vehicle category called powered personal transporters (PPTs), which will include e-scooters that comply with specific technical and usage regulations. Currently, e-scooters are illegal on Irish roads as they cannot meet the criteria for mechanically propelled vehicles (MPVs). The new regulations will set standards for construction, safety, power, speed, and weight of e-scooters. Users must be at least 16 years old, and e-scooters cannot be used to carry goods, have seats, or be used on footpaths, pedestrian areas, or motorways. Fixed charge notice penalties for non-compliance have been set at €50. The act also clarifies the status of pedal-assist e-bikes, which will not require registration, tax, or insurance if they meet certain criteria. High-power e-bikes, or e-mopeds, will be classified as MPVs and will require registration, tax, insurance, and an AM licence, with these rules expected to be in place by Q1 2024.

Auto advice: How safe are our roads and who is most likely to be the victim of a road accident?

01 Jan 2023  |  www.independent.ie
EU road fatalities slightly decreased by 1% in the last year, with around 20,400 deaths. While some countries like Belgium and Poland are on track to meet the 50% reduction target by 2030, others like Ireland and Sweden have seen increases. Sweden has the safest roads, and Bulgaria the most dangerous compared to the EU average. Drivers and passengers are the most common victims, but pedestrian fatalities rise with age. Cyclist deaths have not significantly decreased over the past decade, attributed to poor infrastructure and unsafe behaviors. Men and the elderly are disproportionately represented in road deaths. In urban areas, vulnerable road users are involved in the majority of fatal accidents.

What you need to know before driving in Europe

11 Sep 2022  |  Good Housekeeping
The article serves as a guide for individuals planning to drive in Europe during the school holidays. It acknowledges that driving in a foreign country can be difficult and offers tips to help ensure a safe journey. The article is timely, considering the rising temperatures and the onset of the holiday season, which is when many people choose to travel by car for their vacations.

Whoever controls access to raw materials for batteries will control the world economy

11 Sep 2022  |  Independent.ie
The article discusses the strategic importance of raw materials essential for manufacturing electric vehicle (EV) batteries, such as lithium. It highlights the concern over the possibility of one country dominating the supply of these critical minerals, which could have significant implications for the global economy. The article also touches on the current state of the EV market, noting that despite a decrease in fuel prices, they are still higher than the previous year, leading to increased interest in EVs. However, potential buyers are facing long wait times for delivery, up to nine months.

A brief test drive of an electric Ferrari 308 and a quick chat with Norman Crowley the entrepreneur behind a new Irish car company, Electrifi, which converts classic cars to run on electricity.

Big read: What is happening to the millions set aside to make cycling safer?

10 Sep 2022  |  Independent.ie
The article discusses the Irish Government's commitment to invest nearly €1 million daily on cycling and walking infrastructure, which was intended to improve safety and align Ireland with countries like the Netherlands and Denmark in terms of per capita spending on cycling. However, there seems to be an issue with local authorities not efficiently utilizing the allocated funds. The article includes the perspective of Ed Moynihan, a cyclist from Navan, who finds cycling in his area to be dangerous and stressful. The journalist, Geraldine Herbert, is investigating what is happening with the money that was set aside for this purpose.

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