EV charge delight for regular Dutch visitor
Jersey welcomed its first holidaymaker to benefit from the Island's new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure this week - just four months after the founder of Zero Carbon World, Kevin Sharpe, told a Jersey audience how important EV chargers were becoming in holiday destinations.
And it was a 'double first' as Jan-Harmen Hietbrink travelled with his wife and two young sons to Jersey from Utrecht in the Netherlands in the brand new, super stylish, Volvo V60, the world's first plug-in diesel hybrid.
Having been directed by the Tourism Office to Jersey Electricity to find out how and where he could charge his V60 (top speed 143mph, 0-60mph 5.8 seconds), Jan came to The Powerhouse to collect a key to access the 10 public charging bays now operational in St Helier's multi-storey car-parks.
A regular visitor to Jersey since childhood, Jan retains his great-grandmother's family home on the East Coast for holidays, but discovered his usual European, two-pin home charging lead would not work with an adaptor on the house mains. However, he also carried the European standard IEC lead which matches the public chargers.
A logistics company manager, Jan said that EVs were very popular in the Netherlands, a country with a long tradition of environmental activism. Low and zero emission vehicle use is heavily incentivised and chvehicles increasing eightfold to about 7,500 last year.
'The purchase prices are heavily subsidised,' said Jan. 'Mine is a company vehicle but I am not taxed on it at all. The electricity to publicly charge cars is provided free up to 2014 or 15. If you can't install a charger on your property the government will install a public one outside your home for free.
'In addition, parking is free so many people have bought EVs in Amsterdam for the free parking! Plug-in hybrids are extremely popular as they provide the best of both worlds.
'My car has a range of around 50km on pure battery but this depends on the outside temperature and whether I am driving on the highway. I can get more on a summer's day on the country roads but it drops to 30-40km in the winter. The diesel engine kicks in if this range expires or when I briefly want more power. (The V60 will run electrically up to 78mph.)
'I am very pleased with the car and I'll have no trouble driving on pure electric during my time in Jersey.'