GoCar Ireland rolls out BMW electric cars
10 October 2016 | 0
GoCar Ireland, the ride-sharing company, has added 10 electric vehicles (EV) to its fleet, which it hopes will drive acceptance and adoption for EVs across Ireland.
Colm Brady, managing director, GoCar, said the company’s GoElectric initiative is “a first step for the country to show that EVs can work in Irish society”.
The 10 new vehicles are BMW i3 REX 94 Ah models, which Brady described as “state of the art premium, … designed to make every driving experience an absolute pleasure. The BMW i3 is ideal for city driving and we have no doubt our members and indeed the general public will instantly fall in love with them.”
The launch of the GoElectric fleet of BMW i3 vehicles comes at a time when demand for reduced and zero vehicle carbon emissions is growing amongst members of the public and certain government departments, according to GoCar. The launch also marks the next step in GoCar’s continued promotion of convenient and environmentally friendly driving, it said. The company hopes that the addition of premium electric vehicles to its regular vehicle range will boost the sharing economy culture in Ireland further and offer a convenient and sustainable transport option that is free from fuel, tax, NCT, and insurance costs.
The company said that a survey of its users has shown that the vast majority (69%) reported convenience as the main reason for using GoCar. Based on international ride-sharing data, it is estimated that every ride-sharing vehicle takes around 14 cars off the streets, which is the equivalent of around 2,000 less cars on Dublin’s streets.
Barady said that user data has shown that in five years of operation, only 1% of journeys undertaken would be beyond the capabilities of the new EVs.
The i3 model being deployed by GoCar is the new 94 Ah model, which has a range of 330km with its range extender function — a small petrol-powered generator that can power the car when the battery charge runs out.
“We are delighted to bring our partnership with GoCar to life with the new BMW i3 94Ah,” said Paulo Alves, managing director, BMW Group Ireland. “GoCar’s car sharing service complements our strategy to promote the use of electric vehicles across the city with their GoElectric range. Dublin residents are demanding more transportation options and car sharing is a convenient choice to get around the city. We are now in a position to offer on demand, eco-friendly mobility when it is needed through this partnership.”
The i3 REX94 Ah is capable of a surprising turn of speed, with 0-100km/h coming up in just 7 seconds. In town driving, its docility and easy manners belie the response when the accelerator is pushed hard to the floor.
The rate for the i3 EVs is slightly higher than current small cars models, such as the Hyundai i30 and Ford Fiesta, said Brady, but this reflects the premium nature of the cars. The hourly rate for the i3 will be €8.99, but significantly, there will be no per kilometre charge, as there is with the conventionally powered cars, if the user plugs the EV in on drop off. However, Brady said that a full charge would be expected to cover several usages, based on what has been seen in journey patterns to date.
The new EVs will be supported by GoCar’s new software platform and app, which will allow users to take full advantage of the unique characteristics.
The app will now guide users to the cars, as well as allowing them to be opened and closed from within the app. The platform will the support the app with new location services to show cars in the vicinity, as well as charge points and energy states of EVs.
The GoElectric initiative is supported by Dublin City Council, and dedicated parking spaces and charging facilities are being provided for the ride-sharing EVs.
The EVs, said Kieran Cuffe of the Green Party, and Dublin City Councillor, are a significant part of tackling urban issues, such as air quality. He said that by supporting the greater use and acceptance of EVs, “we are making the best use of road space” in the city, along with initiatives such as the Luas cross city, extended cycle paths and car sharing in general.