ECOPOWER Battery Centre

WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A PERIOD-STYLE BATTERY FOR A 6-VOLT CLASSIC CAR OR A HIGH-TECH GEL BATTERY FOR A SOLAR POWER SOURCE, EUROPOWER BATTERY CENTRE HAVE IT ON THE SHELF.

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Celebrating their 21st year in the battery business in 2009, it would be something of an understatement to say that Europower know a thing or two about this important automotive component. Based in a modern unit in the Tolka Valley Business Park in Glasnevin, Dublin 11, the company supplies both private and business customers, including many motor factors around the country; if you’ve bought a battery in Ireland, there is a good chance it came out of Europower’s warehouse. “If it moves, we have a battery for it” explains Denis Carroll, Europower MD, “everything from golf trolleys to boats to trucks, as well as industrial applications like security systems and renewable energy sources.” Denis has been at the helm of the company since its inception in 1988, when it was based on Pearse St. in Dublin’s city centre, and he has long-standing ties with the motor trade all over the country. He is also something of a petrol-head himself, and enjoys spending time on his BMW motorbike or in his recently-acquired Cortina. “I’ve been on the lookout for a Mk1 Cortina GT for a long time” he tells us, “but I’ve settled for a Mk2 1600E.”

As Europower are main dealers for the Banner range of automotive batteries, I found it no surprise to find a Banner ‘Starting Bull’ nestled beside the well-detailed 1600 Crossflow of Denis’ Cortina. An Austrian company, Banner have been producing batteries in-house since 1937, and their products are currently fitted as original equipment to a wide range of European cars including BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Smart, as well as MAN trucks, Neoplan buses and Jungheinrich fork-trucks among many others. A company known for their innovation, one of Banner’s cleverest products must be the ‘Uni-Bull’ automotive battery; this has two pairs of poles fitted, one set on each side, allowing the Uni-Bull to be fitted to a huge variety of cars regardless of which way around their battery cables are. The redundant pair of poles are safely hidden under a plastic cover which also doubles as a handy carrying handle, and as well as all of this ingenuity the Uni-Bull is fully maintenance-free, leak-proof and features a special Gore-Tex venting system which doesn’t allow any acid fumes to escape.

For the vintage and classic vehicle owner, Europower also supply 6-volt batteries in a period-style appearance for use in cars, tractors and trucks, as well as the full range of motorcycle batteries. “Our 12V stock varies from a little 1.2A unit up to massive 230A units for big trucks” Denis explains. “We also supply the new breed of gel-filled batteries and deep-cycle batteries for aerial platforms and the like.” To explain to the uninitiated (which I was before my visit), deep-cycle batteries are capable of being charged to their limit and fully flattened over and over again, which as any collectable car owner will know, isn’t at all how standard “wet” batteries operate. Gel-filled batteries, as their name suggests, are filled with a semi-solid electrolyte as opposed to liquid, meaning they are spill-proof and far safer in certain rugged applications such as golf buggies and marine fitments. Denis informs me that this gel technology is beginning to creep into modern cars, with several new Mercedes and BMW cars already so equipped; you heard it here first!

With a bright, modern retail area, plenty of parking, friendly staff and a fully-stocked warehouse attached, Europower’s Glasnevin HQ is an efficient and convenient spot to do business. For those unable to roll up to his door, Denis operates a number of delivery vans in the Dublin area while also dispatching phone orders to any location in the country by courier, so a new battery is literally only a phone-call away. Impressed by their operation, I decided to grab a new battery for my latest project car while I was on the premises; after taking my details, the computer was consulted and in a matter of seconds the correct battery was sitting on the counter in front of me. The price certainly didn’t break the bank either, which is an important consideration in any project, especially these days! The battery itself couldn’t be faulted, as it happily took plenty of abuse cranking my elderly Mercedes engine, which hadn’t run in about six years…

For any imaginable battery application, Europower are certainly worth a call; find them at Unit 31, Tolka Valley Business Park, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, ring on 01-8300884, fax on 01-8300886 or email info@europower.ie. Their comprehensive website www.europower.ie is also well-worth a look. With many old motors awakening from their winter slumber as I write, I suspect Europower could be kept very busy over the coming months; just make sure to tell them Irish Vintage Scene sent you!