So, with a little delay, here’s our second posting. It’s nice to see all the responses to our first one, we haven’t been able to answer every question – sometimes it’s hard to get the internet – but I’ll try to answer a few with the following story.
On Monday July 29th, we crossed the border and took the beautiful road from Enniskillen to Sligo. On the way, at Glencar Waterfall, we saw our first electric car, after a week of travelling. It was a Nissan Leaf, and the lady driving it was giving us a smile of mutual understanding. At the moment I am writing these words, the Leaf is still the only other electric car we have seen in the whole of Ireland. Quite a difference to what we are used to in Amsterdam! There, wee have a fleet of 300 electric Smarts, as part of the ‘Car2Go’ programme; there are lots of electric taxis and quite a few privately owned electric cars. There are charge points everywhere, not very many DC ones still but that may change.
The biggest advantage of Ireland’s low number of electric cars for us is, of course, there’s always an empty socket at the charge point. The card ESB ecars has kindly provided us with, worked without a glitch the first time we tried it. And charging is free! Apart from the few times we had to pay at camp sites for the electric connection, we have been traveling for nothing. The total cost of electricity after 2000 kms is 9 euros!
There was another problem, however, the first time we tried to charge the car in Sligo. Two cars, an Audi A4 and a Mondeo, hardly electric, were parked at the charge point. I rang ESB ecars but they let me know there is no legislation in Ireland to keep the parking places at charge points exclusive to electric cars. We eventually managed to charge for awhile and as soon as we had enough in the batteries, we unplugged and drove on.
We stuck to the west-coast, moving south slowly. We have been camping most of the time so we could charge at camp-sites. Our daily routine involved picking a nice place for lunch, with a charge point. The ESB iPhone app helped us to find the right places. We took our time to have a nice meal and a look around, charged for an hour or two, or three, before moving on. This way, we always had plenty ‘juice’ in the batteries, especially for some of the very steep climbs in the west of the country. That’s another thing we’re not used to in Holland; hills. Let alone 50 degree climbs! Luckily, my car has a 3-phase AC motor, so with regenerative braking,
We can regain a lot of the energy on the descent. Even in these conditions, and sometimes in very bad weather – wipers, heating, head-lights on – the range of our little car would be at least 140 kms. Very impressive, I thought.
Today, we’ll go to Bantry, so we’ll have to make a left tomorrow to slowly head to the end of our Irish electric adventure, boarding he ferry at Rosslare. Still four more days to go! We’ll write more soon.
Tagged: battery, charge point, Charge Point Network, charge points, electric car, electric vehicles, ESB ecars, Fast Charge Point, Glenisk, great electric drive, kangoo ze, lithium-ion battery, renault, TEN-T