A WOMAN owns a Mercedes and a Revai electric car — but finds that her vintage Merc spends more time parked up than on the road these days.
Electric cars are often seen as the preserve of the urbanite due to their limited range but Ellen breaks that stereotype as she lives in the wilds of Connemara. An American, she has fallen in love with the e12,000 Reva and claims she will never buy another petrol car. The editor of the Connemara View newspaper said: “When you’re stuck in a five-lane LA traffic jam for half an hour, you realise that there is something really crazy about cars. I’d sit in the car not moving and breathing in all the fumes. And then, when you were up in the mountains in LA and you’d look down at the smog below. So, electric cars interested me. I suppose I’m a product of where I was brought up”.
A Dáil climate change committee report is set to recommend the Government become far more ambitious in its plans to electrify the car fleet by aiming to have all private cars electric by 2030. It will also call on the Government to invest up to e660 million in developing an infrastructure, including a network of charge points, so the country will be a laboratory for electric car R&D.
Ellen charges her Revai at an ordinary power point at home and after golf, often plugs in along with the buggies. It takes about two hours to 80% charge the car and eight hours, or an overnight plug in, to fully charge it.
The Revai can drive for 130 kilometres without recharging and has a maximum speed of 80km per hour. It costs about e1.30 at full peak electricity to fully charge it or 0.68c at off peak.
Ellen says she has never spent more than a e5 a week fuelling it — and that was after a particularly intensive week’s driving.
“It is a great car. It zips all over the place. It caused quite a stir around here when I got it first of all, but now everyone’s used to it.
“Travelling to Galway can be a problem as I can’t recharge along the way, but I have the ’93 Mercedes that I can use if needs be. But to honest, I don’t really use it much. It just sits there. New lithium batteries are due to come available soon and that will be great as it will increase the speed and range. But, even without that, I love the Reva. I will never buy a petrol car again.”
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