Electric vehicles (EVs) as the name implies are run entirely on electricity. They have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle emits no tailpipe emissions and does not contain the typical liquid fuel components, such as a fuel pump, fuel line, or fuel tank. The car is charged by plugging it directly to an electric charging system.
Charging EVs can be done through the National Charging Infrastructure which operates throughout the island of Ireland (both fast and slow charging), through a home charger which can be installed at your home, or by workplace charging. The electricity is stored in batteries within the car that feed an electric motor which propels the wheels and gets you moving. There is no other source of fuel in this car.
The Battery Electric Vehicle or BEV as it is commonly known is the most common Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) available, and will play a vital role in driving change, ultimately leading to Emission free transport by 2050. From an emissions perspective it is the most environmental vehicle on the road as it produces no exhaust emissions. The driving experience of an EV is excellent, the car responds very quickly as the power is generated immediately and all EVs have automatic transmission.
Like most new technologies, the issue is the cost of purchase, as in many cases the upfront cost can be much higher that the equivalent hybrid, petrol or diesel alternative. It is anticipated that by second half of this decade that the price of an electric vehicle will be similar to that of other fuel types. However, in deciding on the affordability of an EV, motorists should consider the total cost of ownership, with cost savings based on both on reduced fuel spend and potentially lower servicing costs over the lifetime of a car helping offset some of the initial upfront purchase cost. In recognition of the high costs of producing an EV, the Government has made available generous incentives, including VRT relief of €5,000 and SEAI Grants, also up to €5,000. In addition, there are supports for home charging points, reduced toll charges and for company car purchasers 0% benefit in kind (BIK) up to €50,000. As of 1st July 2021 there is a cap of €60,000 on the full price of all vehicles. The full price of the vehicle to the customer includes all optional extras, paint and delivery for excludes any incentives such as grants or rebates
Range anxiety is also a concern in making a decision, whether to make an EV purchase, and while each year sees material improvements in driving range in the vehicles supplied by Car Manufacturers. The availability of charge points will influence the decision to purchase an EV, and by improving the national charging infrastructure with more fast chargers, this will help the decision making process. In that context, in the short term an EV is best suited to those who drive shorter journeys and whose driving is mainly in urban areas. Of course, purchasing an electric vehicle is also hugely positive environmental decision which is becoming an important issue for consumers, and we will see more and more EVs on Irish roads over the next two decades.
To locate public charging stations for topping up while out and about,visitthe ESB interactive map to find the nearest ESB charge point to you. ESB owns, operates and maintains approximately 1,100 public charge points across Ireland.
Electric cars are a perfect alternative for many drivers. Make sure to check out the following checklist for potential purchasers:
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have composed this calculator where you can compare and calculate electric vehicles with petrol and diesel to see how much you can save in annual costs and emissions