A NETWORK of public charge points for electric cars will go live across Limerick city next week following their recent installation.
Ten locations across the city have been intially identified by ESB ecars in consultation with Limerick City Council
Each of the charge points, which are located on public streets in the city centre, cost around €10,000 to install and commission.
At each location, the public parking spaces have been painted green by the local authority and signs have been erected to make them easily identifiable to motorists who own electric cars.
It is expected that proposals will be brought forward by Limerick City Council later this year prohibiting motorists from parking petrol cars in the designated spaces.
At present there are just a few hundred electric cars in Ireland but Paul Mulvaney, managing director of ESB ecars, says the installation of the charge points will encourage more people to consider buying electric cars.
“People will be able to charge their cars at home but these charge points will allow them to come into the city and to charge their cars while doing their shopping or whatever business they have to do,” he said.
ESB ecars plans to install in excess of 40 public charge points in Limerick city and charge points will also be installed in bigger towns such as Newcastle West and Kilmallock.
Initially the charge points will be free to use but from the middle of 2012 motorists who own electric cars will have to sign up with an electricity suppier such as ESB, Airtricity or Bord Gais Energy.
According to Paul Mulvaney, customers will be issued with an electronic swipe card by their suppier which will allow them to use any of the public charge points across the country.
“Any supply company will be able to supply electricty to any driver and the charge points will be the same across the country and we have been talking with the car manufacturers to ensure standardisation across the board,” he said.