Japan visit to progress Ireland’s green-tech agenda

14 Jun 2010

Minister Eamon Ryan is to meet with electric vehicle makers Mitsubishi, Toyota and Nissan.

Energy minister Eamon Ryan TD met electric vehicle manufacturers Mitsubishi, Toyota and Nissan, as well as ICT firms and broadband providers in Japan in mid-June. The Minister made some comments on these visits as part of his speech to the Nikkei Summit. Click here for further some of his speech excerpts.

In talks with the Japanese car manufacturers, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Nissan, Ryan discussed the delivery of electric vehicles to the Irish market in the months ahead.

Ireland’s green-tech and innovation credentials

Ryan also visited the Ireland Expo in Shanghai, China, on Thursday 17 June, along with Ireland’s President Mary McAleese, where Ireland’s green technology and innovation credentials were being showcased.

At the Nikkei Global ICT Summit, Ryan also detailed Ireland’s broadband and communications progress, particularly in relation to the Exemplar network.
The Irish and Japanese communications ministries have already jointly hosted last year’s Japan Ireland Ubiquitous broadband conference, and, since then, been collaborating on broadband schemes and policies.

Mitsubishi and ESB EV deal

In May ESB, Mitsubishi Motors, MC (Automobile) Europe, MMC Commercials and the Government signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the e-car industry here.

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. Read more here.

€5,000 grant to promote EV use and Renault-Nissan alliance

In April 2010, the Government announced it would give a €5,000 grant to encourage the public to buy electric cars, as part of the plan that 10pc of all Ireland’s vehicles will be electric by 2020.

At the time, the Government struck an agreement with the Renault-Nissan alliance to supply electric cars to Ireland from 2011. Nissan will supply its all-electric, five-seater LEAF hatchback to Ireland in early 2011, while Renault will launch its light commercial electric vehicle, Kangoo ZE, later in 2010. Read more here.

The Toyota Prius hybrid model

In February 2010, a braking glitch forced Toyota to recall more than 400,000 hybrid cars globally, including its new 2010 model Prius. The voluntary recall was carried out by Toyota so it could carry out a software update on the anti-lock brake system of any Prius vehicle manufactured before 27 January 2010.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic