Mayo woman Jana McGrath was selected from some 20,000 applicants to become one of 32 new ecar ambassadors who will take part in the Great Electric Drive. This is the second year of the Great Electric Drive, which gives 26 members of the public and six commercial organisations the opportunity to trial an electric car for up to four months each. The ambassadors were selected from more than 20,000 applicants from all over Ireland. The ambassadors were announced at an event held in Dublin this week, which was attended by the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte.
Minister Rabbitte said: “The electrification of transport is a key component of Ireland’s emissions reduction strategy and reducing our dependency on imported fuels. I am delighted Ireland continues to lead the way in this area and welcome the very strong response to ESB’s Great Electric Drive from the general public.”
Over the course of the Great Electric Drive, the ambassadors will drive a wide range of electric vehicles and get first-hand experience of the benefits of electric driving. The electric vehicles are being provided by major car companies and include the BMW i3, Citroen C-Zero, Mitsubishi iMiev, Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid, Nissan Euro LEAF and Nissan e-NV200 commercial van, Renault ZOE the Renault Twizy and the Renault Kangoo ZE commercial van. The participants have a wide variety of commuting patterns and daily routines. They will share their experiences on the ESB ecars blog throughout their ecar trial. Each ecar ambassador will have a charge point installed in his/her home or workplace and will also be able to access a nationwide network of public charge points that have been rolled out by ESB across the country. This includes the installation of fast chargers along the main inter urban routes, which is being co-funded by the EU TEN-T programme. Cross border compatibility will allow electric vehicle drivers access the public charging infrastructure in Northern Ireland.