Electric cars – charging ahead

 

Sir, – Further to recent correspondence (August 13th), my wife and I also recently bought our first small electric car, and I have to say that our experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

I would admit that circumstances are important here. We are both recently retired and so schedules and time pressures do not play such a part in our lives. While the new electric vehicle is our daily vehicle, we have kept a second petrol car for occasional long trips. We find the car is a joy to drive and at 350km range in summer we can easily travel anywhere in Co Donegal and back. The key thing is to have a home-charging box, combined with overnight charging on night-rate electricity. We have found the process of applying for the €600 Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland grant towards the charger a bit fraught and are still waiting for that to process, but it will offset a good bit of the cost.

As to finding public EV chargers, we took an 800km round-trip two weeks ago through Sligo, Westport, Galway and Dublin and had no real difficulty keeping the car charged. Total cost of charging was €20. We found the phone app very good for finding chargers and checking if they were working and available. The one comment I would make is that EV chargers are always at a far corner of a carpark, as if we were second-class motorists and needed to be kept out of sight. Only once did I find a “charger hog” vehicle in Galway that had been connected to the fast charger for two hours before I got there, resulting in my having to use the lower wattage, and was still there when I returned to my car! The only other point I would make is that the hotel industry must be supported to install decent chargers like the one we used overnight in an excellent hotel in Newlands Cross. They are few and far between.

Range will be down a bit come the winter but I am delighted with the decision to buy an electric car and would unreservedly recommend it. – Yours, etc,

PAT BRENNAN,

Letterkenny,

Co. Donegal.

A chara, – Fintan Gibney, advocating nuclear energy generation, reminds us that the sun is a nuclear generator (Letters, August 12th). I wonder how close to the sun he believes we could live safely? – Is mise,

ART Ó LAOGHAIRE,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.