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Renault Fluence: At last ... a good green in-fluence

WHAT does the boss of the ESB drive? An electric car ... geddit?

Hilarious, except he doesn't, does he?

Yes folks, the head of the national electricity company, Padraig McManus, who was last seen along with Energy Minister Eamon Ryan, leading a high profile campaign to get people driving electric cars ain't got one himself.

Now that is funny, but not really that surprising.

It doesn't surprise me either that the Green Party or any of its TDs and ministers aren't buzzing around town in small saloon-shaped milk floats, and frankly I wouldn't expect anything else.


But ESB chief Padraig McManus should really give the old electric motoring a go, if it is such a great idea.

That's because - despite the best efforts of the latest devotees, Nissan and Renault -- electric motoring doesn't make any practical sense.

Let's be honest here folks, electric cars will not work in their current guise - unless of course BP keep emptying its oil stock into the ocean.

Well for one, electric cars are about the same size and same shape as a rollerblade.

And you have to fork out about e35k for the pleasure of driving around in an Aygo shaped and sized car.

Also, they don't go very fast and aren't suited for long distance driving.

Worse again you have to plug them in for about eight hours to get enough power to last throughout the day.

Now it's enough of a pain in the backside to walk all the way into the kitchen to recharge your phone or iPod, but can you imagine forgetting to recharge the bloody car.

Also, driving an electric car increases your chances of knocking down cyclists in the city centre -- no harm there then.

Honestly, you won't hear the buggers coming due to the fact that they're driven by a battery and apparently the amount of drunken homeless people from Stockholm being hit by these silent killers has gone through the roof.

Now you could argue that killing humans with electric cars is about as environmentally sound as it gets -- what's greener than reducing the world's population?


So really, I can't blame 'Paudge' and his green mates for not bothering with the electric cars, it just makes you wonder why should the rest of population bother either.

Well, if you take a close look at Renault's latest effort you will see signs that its foray into the world of electric may not be all that bad.

The impressive Fluence has torpedoed itself into the Top Five of 'Most Impressive Cars of the Year', but there will be an electo-version available next year.

The early signs are excellent with the current version.

It's plenty big, plenty powerful for a mere 1.5 litre engine, and easy on the pocket.

In fact under the scrappage scheme you can have an excellent, sexy car for under e16k.

With that you get a large 530 litre boot, bags of comfort, and all the Renault extras including push-button ignition, and a five year warranty which is also being offered to the city's taxi fleet.

The Renault Fluence costs from e15,800, although expect to pay at least twice that for the electric version next year.