20,000 apply to take part in ESB’s Great Electric Drive

13 Mar 2014

The Talbot family and their e-car

More than 20,000 applications from individuals and businesses to trial electric vehicles for a year as part of the ESB’s Great Electric Drive have been received by the electricity supplier.

Last month, ESB launched the search for 24 e-car ambassadors, asking people from a wide variety of ages, lifestyles, occupations and commuting patterns, as well as commercial businesses, to get involved in this year’s trial.

At 20,000, the number of applications has almost doubled in comparison to the first Great Electric Drive, highlighting the increased interest in electric vehicles and their merits for drivers in Ireland.

The selected e-car ambassadors will be announced in April and will trial a selection of electric vehicles from BMW, Citroen, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Renault.

Commuter belt drivers most interested in e-cars

The highest number of applications came from Leinster (excluding Dublin) at just under 30pc, reflecting high interest in electric vehicles from people in commuter belt counties.

This was followed by Dublin and Munster each at 25pc and Connacht/Ulster at 20pc. The majority of those who applied said their intended use for the e-car was commuting to work, with more than half stating their average daily commute is less than 50km. The cost savings of driving an electric car has also been cited as a major reason for applying.

Almost 1,000 commercial applications were also received for the Great Electric Drive, with most entries coming once again from the main urban centres of Dublin (28pc), followed by Cork (11pc), Galway (6pc), and Limerick (4pc). Most of those that entered are either sole traders or private companies.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years