The Deacon V Hybrid, Ireland’s first hybrid electric hearse has been launched, writes Trish Whelan. It is based on the new Ford Mondeo HEV which arrived in Ireland earlier this year.
The hearse was built by Byrne Coach Builders of Dundalk.
Paul O’Sullivan of Ford Ireland said the new Mondeo HEV is the ideal vehicle to serve as a hearse. “With the sleek looks of the latest version of the Mondeo, it is an attractive vehicle and with its dual electric and petrol engine, can be depended upon to provide a quiet and smooth ride in the sensitive context of a funeral.”
Peadar Byrne, MD of Byrne Coach Builders said it ‘really helps to bring the traditional funeral hearse into the 21st century as electric and hybrid vehicles become more and more popular’. He said the Deacon V Hybrid is a great new option for the undertakers of Ireland. “More and more people are looking for vehicles that have less of an impact on the environment and for the last journey of a loved one, isn’t it great to be able to now offer a vehicle like this.”
Hybrid electric vehicles are the most popular of the ‘electric’ models available as they neatly bridge the gap between traditional internal combustion engines and electric motors with the ‘range anxiety’ that some motorists feel in relation to ‘full electric’ vehicles.
This hearse is based on the estate version of the latest Mondeo HEV model which has a 2.0 187hp petrol engine tied to an electric motor. In effect, two electric motors are used in the hybrid system - one to support the petrol engine in driving the wheels and another to enable regenerative charging for the 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. Regenerative charging means that the Deacon V Hybrid never has to be plugged in. It drives in electric mode at slow speeds or upon start up and then the petrol engine kicks in once the speed increases. It can return a fuel consumption rate of 4.2 L/100kms.
Peadar Byrne, Byrne Coach Builders, is pictured above at the wheel of the hearse; with Paul O’Sullivan, Director of Sales, Ford Ireland; and Mel Rogers of Byrne & Maguire, Main Ford Dealer, Dundalk.