ESB bosses have said that the average motorist can save almost €2,300 a year by switching to an electric car.

Twenty-one drivers, who took part in a trial of electric cars in Ireland, have covered more than 100,000km in the past year.

ESB has said its Great Electric Drive Ambassadors also made combined fuel savings of €13,500, eliminating over ten tonnes of CO2 emissions, since the trial started in September 2012.

Ambassadors were chosen following a public invitation to participate, which attracted 12,000 applicants.

Four drivers trialled an electric vehicle for a year, one for six months and 16 trialled the e-cars for a period of three months each.

Drivers were provided with Nissan LEAF, Renault Kangoo ZE, Mitsubishi iMiEVs or a Smith Edison Transit van.

ESB e-cars manager Dermot McArdle said: "We are delighted with the success of our first Great Electric Drive and feel the savings achieved and the perception change of the ambassadors, speaks for itself.

"ESB is installing a nationwide network of charge points with 95% of major towns and cities having access to EV charging infrastructure, which makes electric vehicle driving a realistic alternative to traditional means of transport in Ireland".

Commenting on the fuel saving, Beatrice Whelan from Kildare, one of the ambassadors said: "I used the e-car for my daily commute to work, which is approximately 100km via Monastervein to my workplace, Sage, at Citywest via the M7.

"I charged the e-car at home overnight using a specially installed home-charge point and I found that instead of spending €70 each week on petrol I was spending €7-€10 on electricity to re-charge the e-car."

ESB has announced it will run a second Great Electric Drive, providing an opportunity for more members of the public to trial an electric vehicle.

The trial will feature a broader range of e-cars and the application process will begin in January 2014.