• Declan Meally

Declan Meally is Head of Emerging Sectors. Read his thoughts on the growing world of Electric Vehicles.

It’s like sitting in marshmallows!’ laughs Peter Hanley, a Dublin taxi driver and Nissan Leaf owner, explaining how one passenger couldn’t get over how comfortable the car was and that was how they described it. I got chatting to Peter while making a short video case study for our website recently. Obviously having an interest in Electric vehicles (EVs) myself, I wanted to hear more about his personal experiences. As it turns out he’s had the car for the past 12 months and so far is really enjoying the savings he’s making as well as the conversations it throws up. ‘The car is so relaxing to drive, more than I could have imagined it to be. And it fits into my lifestyle really well’ explained Peter.

There can be a lot of misconceptions about EVs, but clearly in Peter’s case these have been put to bed. ‘For me, range just hasn’t been an issue’ said Peter, something I’m pleased to hear as the dreaded ‘range anxiety’ is a big turn off for a lot of people. He went on to say that around the city he’d get 140-150km per charge which is a lot better than most people might think and with the introduction of EV’s boasting a 300km range, then ‘range anxiety’ could become a thing of the past altogether.

Peter also pointed out to me that Public charge points are currently free which is an added bonus for him and others working in the city centre and its surrounds. ‘I just park up, plug in and go for a stroll or grab a coffee’ says Peter on using his Nissan Leaf as a taxi on the streets of Dublin.

ESB claim an impressive 1,200 number of charge points around the country. Having said that, Peter isn’t too happy about the EV charging spaces regularly being blocked by non EV drivers. However he did say that he’s never too far from a charge point. I found it really encouraging to hear how positively he rates electric cars as this is his livelihood and if it didn’t work for him he’d be out of business.

‘Lots of people don’t realise how affordable they are now’, Peter told me. He said that through the grant and VRT relief (up to €10,000 available) as well as a generous scrappage deal, he found the car worth making the leap for.

My chat with Peter brought a few other myths about EV’s to mind, one of those being the selection of cars available, some people think there are only one or two EV models available when in fact there are nearly 20 vehicles now eligible for grant support covering full EV, Hybrids and PHEVs.

Hearing Peter’s positivity and assurance about how great EVs are really made me realise that there are massive savings to be made especially for commuters. If you don’t believe me, then watch Peter’s video below and see for yourself!

Many thanks to Peter for the chat, he is just one of many enjoying the benefits and savings of EV’s in Ireland and I encourage more of you to look at them when considering your next car purchase, I know I will

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Author biography

Declan Meally is Head of Emerging Sectors with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. This portfolio includes Marine/Ocean Energy, Smart Grid, Electric Vehicles and Smart Cities programmes. He is a chartered mechanical engineer and has worked for over twenty years in management in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining SEAI, Declan worked in management in Xerox Europe Limited and Aer Rianta.

Email declan.meally@seai.ie
Phone 01 808 2100