Inland Fisheries invests €160,000 in new electric car fleet

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The new Hyundai Kona electric cars outside Government buildings, Dublin. Image: Maxwells

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Could this be the start of a broader roll-out of electric vehicles in Irish State bodies?

Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) with a view to achieving a 24pc reduction in CO2 emissions as part of a €160,000 investment.

The first four cars, consisting of Hyundai Kona vehicles, will be driven by project officers from the organisation’s National Strategy for Angling Development’s (NSAD) project management office, which works with angling clubs and community groups around the country to support the development of the fisheries resource.

‘The energy reduction target of 33pc by 2020 is an opportunity to refocus the philosophy of our organisation’
– DR CIARAN BYRNE

Project officers travel to rural and peripheral areas to work with local groups to support them in undertaking environmentally sustainable fisheries development works. This enables communities to realise the many economic and recreational benefits that the fisheries resource can accrue for their area.

“As a country we all need to do more to tackle climate action, so it is important to see our public bodies taking the lead,” An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, said as he launched the fleet.

“We will all need to make adjustments to how we live and how we get around; these cars will send a positive message, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the organisation.”

Shock to the system

Seven men and one woman stand beside a new electric vehicle outside Irish government buildings.

From left: Barry O’Connor; Oisin Cahill; Minister Richard Bruton, TD; Liam Gavin; Minister Sean Canney, TD; An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD; Patricia Ryan; and Ken O’Neill. Image: Maxwells

The EVs have been wrapped in a fish-themed design with an electrically charged eel swimming across the side to promote the organisation’s shift to zero-emission cars.

Inland Fisheries Ireland has more than 300 staff, with many using vehicles to allow them to carry out their protection, environmental, promotional and research duties.

Ireland has 5,600km of coastline, 70,000km of rivers and streams, and 144,000 hectares of lakes and ponds, all of which fall under Inland Fisheries Ireland’s remit.

In addition to moving to energy-efficient vehicles, the organisation has implemented a fleet management system to generate additional efficacies and to ensure the fleet is being used in the most appropriate manner and that driver safety remains a priority.

“The energy reduction target of 33pc by 2020 is an opportunity to refocus the philosophy of our organisation. As an environmental agency, we are very aware of the critical nature of climate change and the impact it is having on our fisheries resource. We are looking at every aspect of our work to see how we can reduce our environmental footprint. The move to ‘green’ vehicles is just one of many changes which we are making to ensure we reduce our overall emissions,” said Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

“Our new fleet represents a €160,000 investment by the organisation which will allow us to operate in a more efficient manner and to carry out our duties as custodians of the fisheries resource in a more sustainable manner.”

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD, signalled that more EVs could find their way into the State’s public sector.

“It is vital that every aspect of our society seek ways to reduce their carbon impact, and the public service must be the first to show that it takes policies for sustainability seriously, if we are to persuade the rest of society to make the step changes which we need to make,” Bruton said.

“Today’s announcement shows that Inland Fisheries Ireland are leading by example and making changes to adapt. As a result of this new electric fleet, they will reduce their carbon footprint by 24pc.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com