Electric motoring gets further green light

24 May 2010

ESB and Mitsubishi Motors, MC (Automobile) Europe, MMC Commercials and the Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the e-car industry in Ireland.

ESB and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, MC (Automobile) Europe and MMC Commercials and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties to further promote the e-car industry here.

ESB has also announced the first e-car trial programme for Ireland, with the trial project being conducted by Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) School of Engineering.

As part of the trial, the all-electric, zero-emission Mitsubishi i-MiEVs will be used throughout Ireland to support the planning and implementation of the ESB nationwide charging infrastructure.

Electric car target

With the Government having set a target of 10pc for all vehicles on Irish roads to be electric by 2020, these trial vehicles will be made available to a range of users – both residential and pilot corporate customers.

Speaking today, Ryan said: “Today’s memorandum with Mitsubishi and ESB’s trial with Trinity College Dublin is another important milestone in the electrification of the Irish motoring fleet. Ireland is leading the way and with such innovation from ESB, TCD and our new partnership with Mitsubishi, our international position is further strengthened. Irish drivers and the Irish economy will only benefit.”
A ‘Smart Home Charging’ system will be trialled, allow the cars to maximise the amount of energy they get from renewable sources, while also facilitating the operation of the electricity system. ESB has committed to installing 1,500 publicly accessible charging stations, 2,000 domestic charging points and 30 fast-charging units on a nationwide basis throughout Ireland by the end of 2011.

ESB’s chief executive, Padraig McManus, said: “As a major force in the global market, Mitsubishi Motors’ endorsement of Ireland as an environment for EVs is extremely encouraging. The pilot project will provide ESB with a more in-depth knowledge of how the technology and its integration into the electricity network will work.”

Professor of Civil Engineering, Margaret O’Mahony of TCD and lead academic of the research programme said: “We are delighted to be involved in this trial which will evaluate the potential of the role of electric vehicles in addressing key energy and environmental solutions for society.”
The European version launch of the i-MiEV will take place in October 2010, when the cars will be available to Irish consumers. Mitsubishi Motors plans to bring to market a range of full electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the coming years. The i-MiEV reaches a top speed of 130km/h and an achievable range of 130km. It can be charged in seven hours at the home.

By Carmel Doyle 

Photo: The Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic