• Dave Ward
  • 3 min read

Dave Ward, Commercial Manager at the Commissioners of Irish Lights, took part in the EV Fleet, to review the vehicle’s suitability for work purposes

The Commissioners of Irish Lights is a maritime organisation delivering an essential safety service around the coast of Ireland, protecting the marine environment, and supporting the marine industry and coastal communities.

Due to the unique nature and remoteness of lighthouse sites around the coast, Dave was unsure whether an EV would be suitable for work purpose but he wanted to put it to the test.

Charging and Features

I received a Volkswagen ID4 GTS cross-over EV for 3 months. It was myself who was the primary user of the vehicle for the purpose of the trial.  

This was my first time driving an electric vehicle for work. I drove it every day and given the nature of my work, no two days are ever the same! Some days I only had to drive short distances in the EV, but other days I had to drive long distances on the motorway and to very remote coastal destinations., So it’s difficult to calculate the average journey. 

I charged the vehicle every two days or so depending on the journey plan for the week. Most of the charging took place using the public charging infrastructure located at petrol stations around the country. But I also had access to two charge points at our HQ in Dun Laoghaire.  

For longer trips, I had to plan in advance and figure out where I would stop to charge. This did impact on the time required to make the trip. 

Regular access to high-speed chargers was sometimes an issue and when you have a deadline to make, like a business meeting, it can be frustrating. At public charge points I noted it took approx. 40mins to get the battery to 80%, bringing the driving range up to 360km.

From a driving perspective, the car was very comfortable, great performance and the four-wheel drive made a difference on remote country roads. My favourite feature was the actual drive- smooth, instant acceleration, quietness, and knowing there were no emissions at the tail pipe. 

In terms of savings, there wasn’t as much as I had hoped / expected. High-speed public charge stations are pricy! The cost per KW is very high.

Charging at home overnight is obviously the solution, but i didn't have a home charger for the trial.

Unexpected Benefits

In my role as Commercial Manager at the Commissioners of Irish Lights, I deal with many different third parties, travelling all around the country for both coastal and city based meetings. 

During the trial I received a lot of positive acknowledgement and appreciation from clients that we were actively exploring more environmentally friendly transport options. Of course it is good corporate PR, but it was also useful in helping or encouraging others to think more seriously about moving to an EV for their next car purchase. 

EV Advice and Making the Switch

In terms of advice I would give to prospective businesses or organisations considering an EV purchase - I would say to buy a high range vehicle only, as the range factor is the biggest issue which can impact business needs. 

Make sure that employees using the EV understand the real range of the vehicle. 

Finally, consider installing a home charger to make it more convenient and cost effective to charge.  

I think from my EV trial experience that we at the Commissioners of Irish Lights will consider an EV as part of the fleet in the future for certain roles. Our core work sometimes requires different vehicle types and so for now I think ICE vehicles will still be used in the immediate future. 

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