Guillaume/IEVOA : Hi Adam, you are 18 years old and -allegedly- the youngest EV owner in Ireland. Congratulations ! Is this your first car too ?
Adam : Yes as far as I am aware I am Ireland’s youngest EV (Electric Vehicle) owner! Yes the Renault Zoé is my first car and I am proud to say that I will never have owned an Internal Combustion Engine car!
Guillaume/IEVOA : When did you first learn about EVs or what was your first experience with EV ? Has anyone influenced you into getting into EVs ?
Adam : I was first introduced to the concept of an EV by my Dad Daniel Nuzum in January 2015 when he purchased his first EV which was also a Renault Zoé. I immediately fell in love with his new car and when I got my driving license a year later Zoé was the first car I drove. Ultimately it was my dad who influenced my decision to buy an EV.
Guillaume/IEVOA : You purchased a 2014 Zoé : Can you tell us why, and what are the costs to you, compared to a petrol/diesel car ? Was the insurance expensive ?
Adam : I purchased my 2014 Renault Zoé Dynamique Zen from Charles Hurst Renault in Newtownards, Co. Down. I was very happy with the customer service I received from Paul Regan at Charles Hurst and would highly recommend them. The team at Kearys, our local Renault dealer, were very helpful with local support in the process. The reason I chose to import from the U.K. is that used EV’s are considerably cheaper over there. Thanks to the free public charging with the ESB charging network my running costs are minimal. If I was to drive a Renault Clio which is of similar size to the Zoé I would be paying at least €80 a week for petrol going by the mileage I am doing (900/1000km a week). On a yearly basis it works out that my Zoé (including battery lease and servicing) costs about €1500 to run whereas the Clio would cost me closer to €5000. The Zoé, like all EVs also benefits from paying the lowest band of road tax of €120 a year.
My insurance was quite expensive but purely because I am only 18 years old and this was my first insurance policy under my own. But in saying that my insurer, Zurich Insurance did take into account that my car was an EV and reduced my premium slightly.
Guillaume/IEVOA :: Why did you choose a Zoé over say a Leaf, which remains the most popular EV in Ireland ?
Adam : Personally I chose the Renault Zoé over the Nissan Leaf because I think the Zoé is a younger more stylish looking car both inside and out. I love the white interior in particular and the way the dashboard is designed to look like the blade of a wind turbine. Overall I prefer the Zoé!
To summarise Ireland’s charging network it consists of approximately 1200 charge points nationally, approximately 800 of which are 22 KWH chargers.
Of all the EV’s available the Renault if best equipped for the ESB charge network. At a 22KW charger a regular Zoé with a 22KW battery (NOT THE Z.E 40) will charge too 100% from 0 in an hour where a 30KW Nissan Leaf would take 8 hours with its standard 3kw charger or 4 hours with its optional 6KW charger which is an extra option costing €900. Clearly the Zoé stands out as the better car when it comes to charging capabilities.
Overall there has been a 27% increase in European electric car sales recorded in may 2017!
To date the Renault Zoé has been the most popular followed by the Nissan leaf and the BMW i3. Zoé having 12% market share, Leaf 9% and i3 8%.
Guillaume/IEVOA : In your opinion, how should the EV community convince more people into replacing their diesel/petrol cars for electric ones ?
Adam : Non EV drivers are always saying how difficult it is to drive long distances in an EV but I am well able to prove that this I purely a myth. I have owned my Zoe for just over 2 weeks now and I have already clocked up over 2500 kilometres. From September I will be working in Dublin and studying in Maynooth so I will be commuting to Dublin on a weekly basis easily doing 1000km a week.
I would advise anyone who works close to home or in a city to immediately switch to an EV. You will find that your annual motoring costs will decrease greatly. All EV’s are automatic which makes an them extremely easy and comfortable to drive. Due to the positioning of the batteries underneath the seats of the car this adds greatly to the handling of the car helping it to stick to ground nicely. Electric cars also have a lot of power compared to a similar sized Petrol/Diesel car which makes them great fun to drive!
“When electricity is clean it’s cheap and when it’s dirty its expensive” – Robert Llewellyn (host of Fully Charged youtube channel) In other words renewable energy is cheap and fossil fuels are expensive. So the better we are at generating electricity through wind, solar and hydro technology the cheaper it will be to run an EV when the ESB start imposing a charge for charging. This charge is said to be around €16 a month which is still nothing compared to the cost of petrol/diesel.
Guillaume/IEVOA : Any advice you can give to a young driver interested in purchasing an EV ?
Adam : I would advise young people and students to try and pick up a 2nd hand EV as your running costs are so low compared to a petrol/diesel car. I find that I can budget much more accurately also as I know all my expenses are fixed due to the free charging. Even if you were to charge your car at home it would still only cost less than €10 a week. www.electricautos.ie is also a great website for buying used EVs.
Guillaume/IEVOA : Thank you Adam for sharing this with us, we wish you lots of happy EV kilometers!
If you want to know more about the Renault Zoé : http://www.irishevowners.ie/the-renault-zoe-ze40-lands-in-ireland-and-yes-battery-is-now-included/