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Buzz off -- it's the electric clampers

IF you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear -- you certainly cannot make a Dublin City clamper seem less toxic.

But at least somebody is finally buying electric cars -- after the ESB's disastrous predictions that everybody would be driving hairdryers on wheels by the end of the decade.

The newly christened Electric Ireland pompously insisted last year that more than 6,000 plug-in autos would be on the road by the end of this year. They will be lucky if there's even 60 sold privately.

Among the tiny minority who are buying them are the city council's €35m parking muscle -- Dublin Street Parking Services, as our pictures reveal the Postman Pat-style mini-vans are just about big enough to carry a few clamps, a couple of clampers and a few packed lunches.

They are nothing like the gas-guzzling 4x4s, which do the final piece of the job, and tow away the unfortunate city dweller's car.