5,000 euro discount on green cars

The Irish government is offering motorists a discount of 5,000 euros if they opt for an electric car.

Motorists choosing the eco-friendly option will also skip vehicle registration tax which ranges from 100 euros to 2,000 euros a year.

It is hoped there will be around 2,000 electric cars on the road by the end of 2011, Green Party Minister Eamon Ryan said.

Meanwhile, ESB, the state's electricity company, has agreed to provide 3,500 charge points and 30 fast charge points across the country by the end of next year.

This initiative is expected to ease fears regarding the distance the vehicles can travel without a battery charge or the speed of the cars. Charging for half an hour could charge the cars to 80% of their full battery power while longer four to eight hour sessions can give full power.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, which supports Ireland's green drive, will also offer concessions on their Nissan Leaf hatchback and Renault Kangoo ZE models.

The Nissan Leaf is considered the world's first affordable, zero-emission car that can reach top speeds of more than 140km/h (90mph) and a range of more than 160km.

The Renault Kangaroo ZE can hit 130km/h and reach a range of around 100km.

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