Thursday 20 June 2019

Blackrock Tidy Towns first in country to use an electric vehicle

Blackrock Tidy Towns has recently introduced an electric van into service to help keep the village clean and tidy, making it a leader in this field. It is the first Tidy Towns committee in the country to use an electric vehicle

This has been made possible thanks to a partnership with Blackstone Motors, who have opened a new dealership in Dundalk, and gifted the local committee the use of a Renault Kangoo Z.

Paul Holland, sales manager at Blackstone motors, describes the van as 'the electric version of the popular Kangoo range from Renault; it is practical, well designed and easy to use'. It requires charging approximately once per week, for no cost, at the ESB charging point at the Village Centre, a full charge takes about six hours.

The development is in line with the branding 'Blackrock Conquering climate Change' which aims to promote the reduction in emissions from within the community. The introduction of this vehicle represents a reduction of 800kg of CO2 per annum from the previous 1.9 litre diesel van.

Having successfully lobbied for public charge points in the village several years ago this is seen as a natural progression. It sends out a very strong message and promotes the use of EVs, especially in the category of work vehicles.

The vehicle remains parked on the promenade every evening, creating good visibility. It was introduced at the village's 2019 St Patrick's Day parade, the theme of which was 'Keep Blackrock Green'.

Harnessing the potential of "The Big Hello" community event on the May bank holiday Monday, Blackrock Tidy Towns worked with the Blackrock Community Centre to organise the day and took advantage of the opportunity to run an Electric vehicles awareness day. This was also in keeping with the Blackrock Conquering Climate Change brand. The event was widely publicised as an EV information day, but with a difference. The twist was that local people were asked to come forward with their own electric vehicles, so they could give true and impartial advice on how they actually get on with an EV.

Local owners came forward to demonstrate a range of cars, from a high performance one (Tesla) to practical family cars (Leaf, Kona, Zoe).The Tidy Towns also presented their own Renault Kangoo as well as a 4WD PEHV (Outlander).

Information leaflets were made available from SEAI and ESB Ecars to highlight the full range of grants and the current and future strategy for pubic charge points. The owners were exceptionally busy for the day talking to the public about all aspects of living with an electric vehicle. The feedback was that this event represented a tipping point for many who were considering a changeover.

The Argus