Taxi driver's frustration at 12 hours it takes to charge vehicle in Clon

June 25th, 2019 10:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Niall Johnson with his newly-purchased Tesla Model S electric car at the e-charging point in Deasy's car park in Clonakilty. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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A Clonakilty taxi driver has to travel to Bandon to fast charge his new electric car because the charging points in Clonakilty are too slow.

A CLONAKILTY taxi driver has to travel to Bandon to fast charge his new electric car because the charging points in Clonakilty are too slow.

The government this week announced plans to have diesel and petrol cars banned by 2030 when they say there’ll be one million electric cars on our roads. 

Niall Johnson of Johnson Cab & Mini Bus Hire has recently invested in a Tesla electric car but it’s taking him up to 12 hours to charge it in his home town. 

‘While there are two connectors at the charging point in Deasy’s car park they are slow and it would take me nine to 12 hours to fully charge my car,’ said Niall.

‘I have checked out the charging points in Bandon and there is one fast charger, but it might not be convenient to go there all the time,’ he said. 

While he can receive a €600 grant towards his own e-car home charging point he added: ‘There is surely a need for more charging points and especially fast chargers to be installed in Clonakilty as more people start to buy electric cars.’

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) highlighted problems with the Clonakilty charging point at a meeting of the local authority last week and said that the charging point was broken for several weeks meaning electric car users had to go elsewhere to charge their cars.

‘We’re looking for people to switch to electric cars but the ESB won’t upgrade the charging points and we definitely need faster chargers in Clonakilty,’ said Cllr Hayes.

‘I’m calling for representatives from ESB to come here to a meeting to discuss plans to install extra charging points as well as faster ones.’

His colleague Cllr Danielle Twomey said the sale of electric cars has exploded.

‘People are trying to be responsible and it’s disappointing when we have the ESB not injecting funding into it,’ said Cllr Twomey.

Both Clonakilty and Dunmanway have two Type-2 AC charging points each, while in Bandon there is a multi-standard fast charger and two Type-2 AC charging points.

County Mayor Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan agreed that the Council would write to ESB on the matter.

An ESB spokesperson said they were aware of a recent issue with the charging point in Clonakilty and apologised for the inconvenience.

‘Our engineers visited it and needed to replace the main control as it developed a fault. Once we received the relevant parts, the work was completed. The unit is now back in service.

ESB ecars says it will begin a €20m programme later in the year to expand and enhance the charging network across Ireland as part of the Government’s Climate Action Fund, announced this week.

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