Nissan claims a waiting list for electric cars
As the pilot ’Great Electric Drive’ comes to an end ESB says ’range anxiety’ is being eased
Daniel Mortell (left) from Limerick with Seán Clancy, Moycullen, Co Galway and Beatrice Whelan, from Monasterevin, Co Kildare, pictured celebrating the end of the ‘Great Electric Drive’ during which 105,000km was covered.
Car importers yesterday spoke of an increase of interest in electric vehicles following the completion of the Great Electric Drive, a year-long pilot project promoted by the ESB.
The scheme, which saw 21 “ambassadors” trial electric vehicles for periods from three months to a year, managed to reduce individual fuel costs by up to 90 per cent, according to the ESB.
Nissan, which sells the Leaf electric car in Ireland, said it has compiled a waiting list for the latest three models, which are not expected to be seen on Irish roads until early next year.
The entry level Leaf is built in Sunderland in the UKand, according to the company, has an extended range of some 199km.
Alleviating “range anxiety” will be crucial to the success of electric vehicles as potential purchasers have been fearful that in undertaking, for example, a trip from Dublin to Galway, which is about 210kms, they would not be able to get home.
However, speaking at yesterday’s event, Peter Dynan of Nissan said that “fast charging points,” which allow cars to be charged to 80 per cent, in about 20 minutes, had not yet been rolled out on all inter-urban routes.
The ESB which is responsible for the roll out of the charging points said that about 1,350 had been installed.
With “standard charging” points, the time taken to recharge the battery could be from four to six hours depending on the car.
ESB e-cars manager Dermot McArdle said a number of factors, such as road tax at €105 per year, fuel costs of 2 cent or less per kilometre, additional charging points and an increased number of vehicles coming on stream from the manufacturers, was driving renewed interest.
Conor Dixon of Renault said a new electric vehicle, the Zoe, will soon be added to its existing range, while BMW and Volkswagen are also set to launch electric models on the Irish market.
The longest commute of the Great Electric Drive users revealed yesterday was that undertaken by Beatrice Whelan of Monasterevin, Co Kildare.
Ms Whelan completed a daily round trip of 100km to Citywest in Dublin where she works. She said she was most impressed with the savings in running costs. She said she reduced her fuel costs from about €70 per week to €7 or €8 per week.
Ms Whelan had a charge point installed at her home and was able to access a fast charge point at a garage near junction 14 on the M7.
Sandra Flavin lives near Skerries in north Co Dublin and used her electric vehicle, a Mitsubishi i-Miev for her work as an environmental education officer with An Taisce.
She said the car’s range was 82km and a fast charging point near Donabate was “a saving grace” as she was never too far away to get back to it.