A highly charged quiet revolution… The Bretzel Bakery Electric Fleet.

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A highly charged quiet revolution… The Bretzel Bakery Electric Fleet.

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What do Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Stephen King and Leonardo DiCaprio have in common? Apart from being rich and famous, they all drive electric cars.

When the Bretzel invested in the little Reva electric car back in 2009 is was seen as a bit of a joke. No one took electric vehicles seriously and although it was ideal for a town runabout, it lacked glamour, normal car comfort and was seen as just cute. Now it is one of the most recognised customer service vehicles in town with more people remembering it than my face! What began as a gimmick rapidly proved itself to be the foretaste of the present fascination with electric cars, vans and bikes.

Since then our electric delivery fleet has grown to include three vans, a tricycle and of course our faithful Reva. Our drivers love them, they are easy to drive and our own onsite charging station does away with time-wasting refuelling. And they are quieter and less polluting than the diesel versions, particularly when charged at off peak times (the networks have spare capacity). Our daily deliveries around the city centre are a joy, particularly on the tricycle which can beat the traffic too.

But best of all the fuel bills required to deliver to our 150 customers in the greater Dublin area have dramatically reduced in the past few years. So what started as a leap into the future has not only become fashionable but has contributed to our bottom line. Our electric vans are helping us towards our goal of being not only a healthy business but an environmentally responsible company.

What has been the most astonishing is the huge progress there has been in the technology recently. The range and battery-life has improved exponentially so that now the spectre of running out of power at awkward moments is a thing of the past. Batteries last much longer and are less expensive. The top of the range Tesla electric car, which I enjoyed driving last week, thanks to Merrion Fleet, has a range of 400km.

First published on LinkedIn in April 2017


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