With the number of plug-in electric cars on the world’s roads set to pass the two million landmark by the end of 2016, it is fair to say that the electric car revolution is finally in motion.
Thanks to the roll out of more than 1,100 public charge points across the island of Ireland over the last six years, Ireland now has one of the most comprehensive networks in Europe. Coupled with the availability of fast charge points on major inter urban routes, new vehicle models and ranges, government incentives and growing awareness of the cost effectiveness of electric vehicles, it is easy to see why electric mobility is an attractive option for drivers.
As with all things, there is always scope and opportunity to enhance the customer experience. It is for this reason why ecars is participating in The Big Energy Hack. The best ideas are often sourced from these innovative hacking events and ecars wants to avail of this opportunity to uncover the ‘next big thing’ or indeed small thing that will make a significant impact for electric vehicle (EV) drivers.
Opportunities that will be explored at The Big Energy Hack:
- Innovative ways to improve route and journey planning so as to make longer journeys in electric vehicles more efficient.
- Using technology to detect, communicate and perhaps even prevent the practice of conventional vehicles occupying parking spots intended for use by EVs at public charge points.
- "Smart ways" to manage and address the developing trend of queues forming at fast chargers,
Key facts about ecars and the Irish electric vehicle market
- The ecars network comprises two types of charge points; standard charge points and fast chargers, the latter being predominantly located on major inter-urban routes.
- In general, standard charge points can re-charge an EV in one to four hours depending on the car type and how empty the battery is, Fast chargers, meanwhile, provide up to 80% in less than 30 minutes,
- There are now 20 different models of electric vehicles available in Ireland from manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Three ecar presentations were made at the event with a prize awarded to team SPOT who developed a concept of parking sensors to manage designated electric vehicle charging spots.