Over 6.4 million electric kilometers driven on Irish roads
Ireland’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network was used over 140,000 times to recharge electrically powered vehicles in 2016, converting to over six million zero tailpipe emission kilometres on Irish roads and displacing 390,000 litres of fossil fuels.
This is according to Gareth Davis, Head of ecars at ESB, who set out the critical role of electric vehicles in mitigating climate change and improving air quality at a major conference this morning in Dublin Castle.
Mr. Davis told the Transport and Climate Change Summit this morning (Thursday 9 February) that these new figures highlight the real benefits to Irish motorists, our economy and environment as the electrification of our road transport fleet spearheads the fight against climate change.
“The threats to our environment have forced us to think about the way we live, including the way we travel. Supplementing the ever wider choice of ecars on offer from car manufacturers, ESB has developed an island of Ireland-wide charging infrastructure of 1,200 public charge points and innovative services to support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles on Irish roads.”
Easing the transition from conventional cars to electric vehicles is key to encouraging people to make the switch. The driving experience for EV owners is improving all the time, and Mr Davis outlined ESB’s enhanced charge point management system, now powered by infrastructure software provider Driivz.
“This system allows ESB ecars to monitor the availability of the charge point network and to remotely operate charge point units in the field, as well as the ability to carry out fault diagnoses and repair. So as drivers plug in their EVs, and others disconnect and continue their journeys, the charge point map is constantly changing to reflect this.”
“This exciting new system underpins our ‘ecar connect’ app that provides real-time public charge point status and occupancy information to users across web and mobile platforms, with a 24/7 customer support helpline also available,” Mr Davis concludes.
In addition, the charge point management system provides ESB with data on overall usage, which will assist with the future planning of the network.
Notes to editor:
- These figures are based on transactions recorded on Ireland’s electric vehicle charge point network from November 2015 to November 2016. The kilometres are estimated on the basis of energy consumed during these transactions.
- They relate to the public charging network and do not take account of home or workplace charging.
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There is a comprehensive network of 1,200 public charge points across the island of Ireland, deployed by ESB ecars since 2010, with the support of the Commission for Energy Regulation, the European Union, Northern Ireland’s Department for Infastructure and Government Departments.
This was the world’s first nationwide EV public charging infrastructure and comprises of fast and standard charge points throughout the country. Standard electric vehicle charging facilities are now available to the majority of communities in Ireland with a population of 1,500 or more. Fast charge points are located every 50km on all major inter-urban routes These allow users the ability to re-charge their car within a 25 minute period to continue their journey and helps in alleviating range anxiety among drivers.
To support the adoption of electric vehicles, ESB ecars currently installs free home charge points to the first 2,000 purchasers of electric vehicles, that qualify for the SEAI grant scheme. For the existing community of electric vehicle (EV) drivers, the facility to re-charge their cars at home overnight when electricity rates are at their cheapest is one of the main advantages of EV ownership. By recharging their vehicle at home, an EV driver can reduce their fuel costs by as much as 75% compared to a diesel vehicle.
Coupled with the availability of home charge units, drivers have the ability to plan both short and long journeys. Unlike other European charging systems, the Irish network operates on a one-card basis so that all charge points are available for use by all EV drivers in both Republic and Northern Ireland.
The result is that Ireland is now well-positioned for the future growth in electric vehicles and the eventual decarbonisation of our road transport fleet and society as a whole.