Eamon Ryan, Minister
of Communications,
Energy and Natural
Resources, Ireland
 
Dublin, Ireland --- (METERING.COM) --- June 9, 2010  - The move towards electric mobility in Ireland has received a boost with a recent memorandum of understanding concluded between the Irish government, power utility ESB, and Mitsubishi Motors and its subsidiaries MC (Automobile) Europe and MMC Commercials.

Additionally Ireland’s first ecar trial project has been announced, to be conducted by Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering on behalf of ESB.

Under the MOU Mitsubishi’s all electric, zero emission i-MiEV will be trialed throughout Ireland to support the planning and implementation of a nationwide charging infrastructure by ESB. Trinity College Dublin will undertake customer behavior and attitudes research, which will be crucial in understanding how customers want to use EVs. The parties intend to make the vehicles available to a wide range of users – both residential and pilot corporate customers – and to promote EVs.

The government’s target is for 10 percent of all vehicles on Irish roads to be electric by 2020.

“The memorandum with Mitsubishi and ESB's trial with Trinity College is another important milestone in the electrification of the Irish motoring fleet,” said communications, energy and natural resources minister Eamon Ryan. “Ireland is leading the way and with such innovation from ESB, TCD and our new partnership with Mitsubishi, our international position is further strengthened. Irish drivers and the Irish economy will only benefit.”

A smart home charging system will be trialed, which will allow the cars maximize the amount of energy they get from renewable sources, while also facilitating the operation of the electricity system. ESB has committed, in a partnership also including the Renault-Nissan Alliance, to installing 1,500 publicly accessible charging stations, 2,000 domestic charging points and 30 fast charging units throughout Ireland by the end of 2011 (see Electric vehicle charge points to be rolled out in Ireland).

The iMiEV has proved popular in Japan, where it was introduced in July 2009, and has been made available in Ireland, in advance of the European launch in October 2010. The vehicle, with compact lithium batteries, has a top speed of 130 km/h and an achievable range of 130 km after a seven-hour home charge.