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Mayo County Council staff share their experience of using an electric vehicle for work purposes

200 businesses nationwide have signed up to the EV Commercial Fleet trial with SEAI. Each business has the use of an electric vehicle (EV) for up to three months, along with the option of installing an EV charger which is partly supported by SEAI. This trial aims to give businesses real world experience of driving an EV and better understanding of the associated cost savings and emission savings that EVs represent.

Mayo County Council were one of the public sector organisations who signed up to the trial. The Council’s Environment team took on the trial and received a fully electric Renault Zoe to use for 3 months. The charging facility for the Council’s Renault Zoe provided for the trial was conveniently situated at the County Council’s main office building, Aras an Chontae in Castlebar. 

Mayo County Council were curious to see if a new EV would be a viable transport mode for work travel in rural Ireland. It could potentially support core activities like travelling to meetings and events! They have some experience already with two electric vans on their fleet, however as they are older vehicles, the range is quite low so they are not used often for long distance travel.  

Charging and Features

The team drove the Zoe daily and had already clocked up to 1,000kms by the time the 3-month trial had ended. The Zoe that the team used for the trial had a range of around 320km. 

Charging was never an issue as they could charge the car at the Aras an Chontae staff charging point every evening so it was fully charged for the next morning. 

Laura Dixon, Climate Action Officer at the Council, and one of the team members who used the EV frequently said she found the charging process very straightforward. 

“It is very easy to charge and a lot more convenient than going to the garage to buy petrol or diesel.” 

Overall, Laura’s experience of driving the Zoe has been very positive!   

“The Renault Zoe is a lovely car to drive. I love that it’s an automatic and I really enjoy driving past the petrol stations without have to stop to fill up.” 

In terms of EV features, Laura particularly enjoyed not having to change gears going up hills.  

“The Renault Zoe is a lovely car to drive. I love that it’s an automatic and I really enjoy driving past the petrol stations without have to stop to fill up.” 
Laura Dixon, Climate Action Officer, Mayo County Council


The biggest challenge Laura and her team experienced during the trial was ‘range anxiety’. This is quite common among new EV drivers. And completely understandable of course. New EVs on the market now typically have a range of 348 km so are ideal for daily commutes. For longer journeys, drivers can ease that anxiety by planning out their route and ensuring there are charge points on route or at the destination they are driving to. Planning comes as second nature now to EV drivers. But the benefits certainly make it all worthwhile – nice smooth drive, no filling up at gas stations, lowers costs and minimal carbon emissions.  

Making the Switch

Overall, Laura and the team at Mayo County Council found their three month trial mainly positive. Laura has even mentioned buying an EV for her own personal use.

“I have found it a way more enjoyable experience than my regular car. We encouraged all staff within Mayo County Council to trial the EV and the response has been overwhelmingly positive." 

The Council recommend that any business making the switch or trialling an EV, should give all staff the opportunity to test drive. It’s only by driving will you really experience the benefits of electric.