While the wider motor industry strives and struggles to wean itself off of carbon emissions, one Irish car dealer has already made the leap. Divane's Volkswagen Kerry, a long-standing VW dealer based in Castleisland, has covered the roof of its showroom with solar panels and reckons that it can now run the business entirely on renewable energy.
73,000kWh of electricity
The project was carried out in cooperation with Energywise Ireland, an Irish company specialising in solar energy systems. The system uses a combination of "sleek and low-profile Solitek and LONGi solar panels" according to Divane's, and has a power output of 90kW. It's expected to be able to produce as much as 73,000kWh in one year, which Divane's says: "will power the electricity requirements of the car showroom, the workshop building and [our] ever-growing fleet of BEV and PHEV vehicles."
Commenting on the announcement, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand Director Rodolfo Calixto said, "As Ireland's bestselling Electric Vehicle brand in 2021, I am delighted to see this incredibly dedicated, climate-conscious investment from our longstanding partners, Divane's Volkswagen Kerry. This is a first in our network and I applaud this progressive project on behalf of the Volkswagen brand."
Stop our reliance on fossil fuels
John Vahey, Brand Manager at Divane's Volkswagen, said, "We are delighted to be the first Volkswagen retailer to complete a project of this scope. We are a large business and have heavy electricity requirements. We decided we needed to look towards the future and stop our reliance on fossil fuel energy by replacing it with renewable solar energy. This system is equivalent to planting 1,600 trees, saving over 35 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The collaboration with Energywise Ireland was excellent and they completed the job quickly and professionally."
Divane's has been selling cars since 1935 when the company was established by the late Stanley Divane. It has been a main Volkswagen dealer since 1954 - only a few years after VW first arrived in Ireland.