Pioneering green transport planner launched in Northern Ireland

The world's first journey planner for electric cars - egomap - is being piloted in Northern Ireland. The system allows drivers to plot their journey, taking into account battery life and recharge options en-route.

Egomap also compares public transport and ‘normal’ cars telling users how much C02 they can save. 

Developed by Northern Ireland’s South West College and Action Renewables, the planner was launched in Belfast at BATTERIE – a conference which explores alternative fuels and smart technologies.

Actions Renewables BATTERIE project manager Terry Waugh said: ‘A vibrant, alternatively fuelled transport sector not only helps the environment but can contribute massively to economic growth and transport efficiency.

“As electric cars grow in popularity, an accurate and user-friendly planning tool can make the experience even more enjoyable. Indeed, one of the BATTERIE closing conference delegates drove his electric car here from the Netherlands and used the electric planning tool when he reached Northern Ireland.”

Greener coffee

In related electric-car news, Whitebread PLC – the company behind Costa Coffee and Premier Inn amongst others – today launched its first electric vehicle.

Whitbread will use the truck on a pilot basis, to service the Costa and Premier Inn routes in Greenford, Ealing, and expect to save up to £12,700 and 21 tonnes of CO2 a year. 

The vehicle is ‘refuled’ nightly, when the battery charger also supplies the vehicle fridge with its ac power allowing the box to be kept chilled overnight. 

The low emission truck is part of a wider sustainability strategy for Costa, which has seen them launch a ‘Beyond the Bean’ campaign, to encourage broader best practice in British restaurants and cafés, beyond the provenance of tea and coffee.

Brad Allen

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