ESB ecars to roll out fast-charge points from May

28 Apr 2011

ESB ecars has entered agreements with Topaz, The Maxol Group and Lidon to roll out fast-charge points in service stations across Ireland from May.

Under the agreements with Topaz, Maxol Group and Lidon, a number of fast-charge points will be available in service stations along inter-urban routes from May and throughout the summer, so that drivers will be able to recharge their electric cars from zero to 80pc of their capacity in less than 30 minutes. A total of 30 fast-charge points are planned to be installed at service stations across the country by the end of 2011.

The first fast-charge points will be operational from next month in Topaz stations in Monaghan and Cashel, followed by locations in Cork, Athlone and Cavan in June 2011.

MoU with Topaz

A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed between ESB ecars and Topaz for fast charging in a further 10 service stations. Standard charge points will also be installed at these locations.

The Maxol Group will install fast and standard charge points at a number of Maxol service stations across the country, starting with Navan, Co Meath, with this charge point expected to be up and running by June.

ESB ecars has also finalised an agreement with Lidon (trading as Junction 14 Mayfield) to install both fast and standard charge points on the new motorway service area on the M7 (junction 14), near Monasterevin, Co Kildare. These charge points are expected to be also operational by June.

ESB fast-charging map

According to ESB ecars, this fast-charging development signals a major milestone in promoting the wider adoption of electric cars in Ireland as it will allow drivers travelling longer distances the option of a fast and convenient charging solution.

Speaking today, ESB chief executive Padraig McManus said: “The availability of fast-charge points will help to reassure drivers that longer journeys between urban centres are practical and that Ireland is well on the way to making ecar driving an everyday reality”.

Hub for e-car R&D

ESB ecars is involved in EU-funded electric car projects, as well as a number of local electric car pilot projects. DIT Kevin Street, for example, is studying the electrical characteristics of both fast and standard ecar charging in alliance with ESB ecars. This is part of a wider research project to develop a smart charging system for electric cars that is suitable for Ireland.

All installed fast-charge points will use high-speed electronics to turn mains electricity into high power.

Because of Ireland’s leadership role in the area of fast charging, ESB says it has been nominated to the European Chademo Steering Group.

Watch the ESB ecar in action:

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic