Electric Vehicle

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. 

The Government has made available incentives, including VRT relief and SEAI Grants. In addition, there are supports for home charging points, and for company car purchasers 0% benefit in kind (BIK) up to €50,000. 

EVs VRT Relief & SEAI Grants 

  • EVs registered before 31 December 2025 are eligible for relief from VRT up to a maximum amount of €5,000 
    This means EVs with with an Open Market Selling Price (OMSP) of up to €40,000 will be granted relief of up to €5,000 (no VRT). 
    Vehicles with an OMSP of greater than €40,000 but less than €50,000 will receive a reduced level of relief. Reliefs have been removed for any electric vehicles above €50,000.
  • Since 1 July 2023, you can get a grant of up to €3,500 for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV). 
    The grant for BEVs only applies to new cars with a full price of between €14,000 and €60,000. 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. Visit SEAI.IE

Home Charger Grant 
Since 1 January 2024, you can also apply for the Home Charger Grant Scheme, for up to €300 towards the installation costs of a home charger. Visit SEAI.ie for details.

Apartment Charger Grant
The apartment charger grant assists residents and owners of apartments and other multi-unit developments who want to install a home charger for their Electric Vehicle (EV). Visit SEAI.ie for details.

The €10,000 deduction applied to Original Market Value Deduction for certain categories of vehicles is extended for 2024. 
Extension of EV tapering mechanism applied to BIK relief for Electric Vehicles of €35,000 to 31/12/2025, €20,000 in 2026 and €10,000 in 2027 
When the two extensions above are combined the 0% threshold for BIK on EVs will be: 
€45,000 in 2024 (the same as 2023) 
€35,000 in 2025 
€20,000 in 2026 
€10,000 in 2027 

​​​​​​​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, visit the ESB interactive map to find the nearest ESB charge point to you. ESB owns, operates and maintains approximately 1,500 public charge points across Ireland.

There are many different charging providers who have varying charging prices. Faster chargers general have a higher rate for use.

EV Checklist

Electric cars are a perfect alternative for many drivers. Make sure to check out the following checklist for potential purchasers:

  • The Purchase Price? Is it within your budget?
  • Does it suit your driving needs?
  • The charging Infrastructure that you will use? 
  • Can you get the grant for a home charger and is your house suitable for home charging?
  • Work out how much it will cost to use with the benefit of existing incentives and the cost of electricity.
  • The cost of charging and the potential savings? Check out www.seaicostcalulator.ie
  • Will the electric vehicle do what you need it to do?
  • The resale value of your vehicle?

Types of chargers

On the public charging network there are 3 different types of chargers.
1. Standard charger- (up to 22Kw AC) 
Can charge your car in approximately 1-6 hours.
2. Fast Charger- (up to 50Kw DC) 
Can charge a car up to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. 
3.High Power Charger- (from 50kW to 350kW DC) 
Can provide up to 100km of driving range in as little as six minutes.

Check with your owner’s manual for the charging specification on your car.

Compare and Calculate

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