The iconic Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden in Connemara, one of Ireland’s best-loved tourist attractions, has just begun its electric journey by taking delivery of three fully electric Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 vans.
The zero-emission vans will be used by staff, maintenance, groundskeepers and cleaners in the course of their duties on the grounds and will be the only vehicles permitted on the newly landscaped area around the Abbey.
Kylemore Abbey is undertaking an ecology and biodiversity review which is assessing how it can reduce its environmental impact and take proactive measures in all areas of the business. It plans to have supplemented the initial three electric vans with a further six over the next two years and is also examining how best to electrify or decarbonise the existing fleet of shuttle buses. It plans to be carbon neutral within the next 5-7 years.
Kylemore Abbey and Gardens welcomes in excess of 550,000 visitors annually, making it the second most visited attraction in the Republic of Ireland outside of the Greater Dublin Area. It launched a new multi-million-euro visitor experience, From Generation to Generation, earlier this year.
There is currently one staff charging point onsite which will be used for the Kangoo Z.E. fleet, and Kylemore Abbey aims to install public charging points in the near future.
Companies buying Kangoo Z.E. can avail of accelerated capital allowances, enabling them to write down the value of their vehicles in a single year, while employees can benefit from 0% BIK.
Commenting on the initiative Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director Renault Ireland, said: “The Kangoo Z.E. is the perfect addition to the fleet at Kylemore Abbey with zero emissions and low running costs. We are delighted to support this much-loved visitor attraction in its journey to becoming carbon neutral. We commend the team for their work in preserving the history and beauty of the estate. We wish them all the best with their efforts and safe and happy driving in the Kangoo Z.E.!”
Conor Coyne, Executive Director of the Kylemore Trust, added: “Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Gardens is set on a 1,000-acre estate in one of the most serene and awe-inspiring parts of the West of Ireland. It is not only one of the most popular visitor attractions in the country, but also home to the Benedictine Community for 100 years. In line with the ethos of this Community, we believe that we have a leadership responsibility to safeguard our Estate’s environment and ecology. Our new partnership with Renault Ireland is a key step in decarbonising our fleet and a hugely symbolic action to showcase the importance of environmental sustainability in a much loved and celebrated Irish Landmark.”