“Electric cars will be on Limerick streets within two years, and will lead to significant changes in the Irish Transport system,” according to Green Party election candidate for the Castleconnell Area, Trish Forde-Brennan. Thanks to an historic deal, the Memorandum of Understanding, signed between Energy Minister, Eamon Ryan and by Padraig Ryan (for the ESB) favourable conditions have been created for the distribution of electric vehicles to the Irish market by Renault-Nissan. “This will save us money and protect us from the unpredictable costs of imported oil. Added to this is an equally important outcome, electric vehicles will help cut carbon emissions, and place Ireland to the forefront of developments in this technological field with consequent opportunities for business and for researchers. It is a development which is good news in the anxious time we live in. We can lead in this field as Ireland is a suitable location for electric vehicles for a number of reasons:
- Size: The battery range suits the size of the country ( for example Dublin City toLimerick is only a 195 km journey)
- Car Neutral: No indigenous car manufacturing base
- Private Homes: There will be less need for charging points on street for overnight trickle charge as individual homes can use their domestic electricity supply and Ireland has a high level of home ownership.
- Electricity network: This is owned and operated by a single entity, ESB Networks and the regulatory framework exists to allow multiple suppliers to provide electricity to their EV (electric vehicle) customers.
- Committed Government: The government is actively promoting the use of electricity in transport and is committed to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector.
- High Levels of wind energy: this renewable energy source can be used to charge electric vehicles which effectively provides storage facilities for the wind generated at non peak load times.
It is estimated that the annual cost of driving an electric car equates to one month’s petrol bill for a regularly fuelled vehicle and it certainly seems to be an option for city and suburban driving.The technology is advancing all the time and the BBC’s Top Gear recently did an encouraging review of what is available in electric cars I urge people to at least check out the possibility of going electric for the next purchase if they wish to save money and protect our environment. It’s a “Think Green, save with Green scenario,” she concluded.