It’s probably unusual to start a car review with a story from An Post. But as the late Con Houlihan used to say, read on…At the beginning of July An Post made Irish postal history when they delivered a small package by drone from Roonagh Pier in County Mayo to a lighthouse on Clare Island. Another example of how technology is changing our lives.
Thirty three years ago mobile phones were introduced to Ireland and if you check out the RTE archives section you will see a video of a very young looking Pat Kenny talking a call on a chunky looking Eircell mobile phone from the Communications Minister of the day Jim Mitchell.
I mention these historic events as this week’s car is a Mondeo Hybrid, the first Hybrid to be manufactured by Ford at their plant in Valencia, Spain.
We already have electric cars, but the batteries are bulky and there are not enough charge points around the country. So for now Hybrid is probably the best option especially if you are travelling to remote parts of the country.
Look at the size of the mobile phones you see in use in Ireland every day now. Will it take another 33 years for the same progress to be made in the batteries that are supplied with electric cars?
Back in 1985 the cost of a mobile phone was £1,400 punts. Normally there is a five or eight-year guarantee with batteries for EVs. However, there is still ‘range anxiety’ for some customers. For example a Tesla or Nissan Leaf can get you from Dublin to Cork without a charge, but then you have to sit around and wait for the car to charge again if you want to travel on to West Cork or Kerry.
So I am definitely in the Hybrid corner and will stay there until the batteries in electric cars are smaller, last longer and ultimately like a mobile phone can be fully charged while driving.
The Mondeo has long been a firm favourite with Irish families and business people. Its combination of style, comfort and practicality have made it hugely popular since it was launched in 1993.
When you start the engine it’s really quiet. You don’t need to press any buttons to get into hybrid mode. There is a service called Smartgauge, which will help you to manage and reduce fuel and energy consumption. The interface includes a range of features including ‘Brake Coach’ that encourages gradual braking to help return more energy to the battery.
Looks wise, the Mondeo Hybrid is much the same as the regular Mondeo, but so much quieter. You can get up to 135 km in electric mode, but there are no battery worries as it automatically switches to petrol when required.
The boot is large, but a lot of space in the boot is taken up by the massive battery, which means a two-tier level. Naturally no room for a spare wheel, just a repair kit.
Prices for the regular Mondeo start at €28,845, while the 2-0-litre automatic Titanium HEV version I drove starts at €32,745. As with most other cars I review there are lots of extras, which will naturally add to the price.
So if you have ‘range anxiety’ about electric cars, why not try this Mondeo Hybrid. I think you won’t be disappointed.