The Lord Mayor of Cork says he hopes his use of a new fully-electric muscle car will help encourage more conversations about sustainability.
A Ford Mustang Mach-e standard range AWD SUV, which retails at almost €69,000, has been presented to the office of Lord Mayor by Henry Ford and Son, as part of a long-standing arrangement that has seen the car company providing two courtesy vehicles annually for use by the city's first citizen since the late 1980s.
Ford presented hybrid courtesy cars for the last two years but this is the first time that Cork City Council has accepted a fully electric vehicle from the company for use by the mayor.
Two years ago, the council said fully electric cars were too small and lacked the range for the Lord Mayor’s needs.
But last night, the council said the introduction of a fully electric vehicle to support the Lord Mayor’s duties is in line with its 2020-2025 corporate plan for the creation of a more sustainable city.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Colm Kelleher, said he is proud to be the first Lord Mayor to champion the use of a fully electric vehicle.
“Finbarr, my legendary driver, has already christened the car ‘Knight Rider’,” he said.
“I am also delighted that its range means that it can be driven to Dublin to cheer on Cork in the All-Ireland final - after just one charge.”
The car has a range of 400km on a full charge and will be charged in the City Hall basement car park.
Ford says it will lead to a 50% cut in running costs compared to driving a petrol or diesel engine in a similar-sized vehicle.
Mayoral driver, Finbarr Archer, said that, so far, he has experienced no "range anxiety" when driving the car.
Green Party Cllr Dan Boyle welcomed the move but said he would like to see the officeholder “mixing and matching transport options more” and using an electric bike from time to time.
There was criticism too from some on social media about the use of a car in the first place.
But Mr Kelleher said the schedule demands on the officeholder, especially in an expanded city, means that a car is required most of the time.
He also said he has committed to travelling by bike soon to attend the opening of a new pedestrian and cyclist entrance to Tramore Valley Park.