Driving Electric

What is an Electric Car?

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.  

Many organizations are interested in the development, manufacture, sale, charging and use of Electric Vehicles and their components. 

Electric Vehicles (EV) refer to both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
ESB ecars - have composed this animation which will tell you everything you need to know about electric cars.

The benefits of Electric Vehicles

Consumer advice about electric vehicles
The SEAI Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's website provides detailed information for the consumer about the types of Electric Vehicles available, grants available, general information on vehicle safety, Motor Tax and VRT, electricity suppliers, infrastructure available and much more.

Where can I buy an electric vehicle?
There is an increasing variety of electric cars coming to the Irish market which will deliver high levels of performance, comfort and economy to suit a variety of needs.

Where electric charging points located?
There are 3 categories of charge points for electric car drivers to use. Home charge points, on-street charge points and fast charge points. ESB ecars have installed electric charge points at the following locations.

Is an electric car for you?
Before you buy any car always do your research and ask yourself the following questions.

  • How much is the cost to change?
  • What type of car do I require to meet my needs?
  • How much mileage am I doing per week/year ?
  • What are the running cost of an electric vehicle compared to a conventional petrol or diesel car?
  • Can I install a home charging point and where are my nearest charging facilities?

ecars have composed a comparative cost calculator, click here to try their cost calculator!

The Electric Vehicle Toll Incentive (EVTI)

The ‘Electric Vehicle Toll Incentive (EVTI) Scheme commenced on the 1st of July 2018 and is expected to run until December 31st 2022 (or up to a maximum of c. 50,000 EVs).

Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids of Irish registered vehicles can now enjoy reductions in toll charges. EV owners will only pay 50% of the toll rate and plug-ins get 25% off tolls (capped at €500 for private or €1000 a year for commercial).

Eligible vehicle owners can sign up with a toll tag provider and those already with an account will be contacted on how to transfer into the scheme.

To register visit http://www.etoll.ie for full details.

Electric SPSV Grant Scheme 2021 Scheme

4 February 2021: The Electric SPSV (eSPSV) Grant Scheme supports the uptake of electric vehicles in the Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSVs) sector (taxis, hackneys, and limousines). 

Budget 2021: in recognition of the important role played by small public service vehicles (SPSV) in making public transport more sustainable, Minister Ryan committed €15m to assisting the SPSV industry in transitioning to fully electric and zero-emission capable wheelchair accessible vehicles. The means by which this money is being made available to the industry is the Electric SPSV (eSPSV) Grant Scheme 2021. The scheme is funded by the Department of Transport and administered by National Transport Authority (NTA). 

Grants of up to €20K now available to existing SPSV drivers who scrap older, high mileage vehicles for new full electric models. Drivers can apply for grants of up to €10,000 towards the purchase of a new full battery eSPSV with a further €2,500 available to convert it to a wheelchair accessible model. Those scrapping older, more polluting, or high mileage vehicles are now eligible for double the normal grant if they make the switch to electric with €20K available for a new full electric or €25 for a wheelchair accessible new battery electric vehicle. SPSV drivers can avail of further financial incentives including VRT relief (up to €5,000), the Domestic Charger Scheme (up to €600) and annual toll refunds (up to €1,000). 

The aim of the Scheme is to increase the uptake of fully electric SPSVs and zero-emission capable wheelchair accessible SPSVs. It is aimed at improving air quality in urban areas, together with influencing the uptake of zero emission passenger cars by improving general perception and awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles. The SPSV industry is regarded as a champion in the normalisation of electric vehicle use. 

Further information about the eSPSV Grant Scheme 2021, and how to apply, can be found here


Temporary extensions for EV schemes under Budget 2022

19th October 2021: The Department of Transport announces details of eligibility and temporary extensions for EV schemes under Budget 2022

  • Continuation of the purchase grant scheme at existing levels for fully electric passenger cars and vans, and the refocusing of exchequer funding on zero tailpipe emission vehicles.
  • From 01 January the PHEV purchase grant of €2,500 will no longer exist, however these vehicles will continue to attract supports including home charger grants and tolls. Please note however that all new applications for Plug in Hybrid Vehicle grants will only be accepted for vehicles delivered, registered, and taxed before the end of December 2021.
  • Any PHEV or BEV (above the 60k value threshold) which has an existing grant offer and was due to be delivered in 2021 but has met unforeseen delays due to semi-conductor shortage, may avail of an extension to 31st March 2022.
  • This extension will be available to both private motorists and eSPSV (taxi) drivers who have grant offers in the system at the moment.
  • Grant applicants should contact the SEAI in relation to private motorist grants, or the NTA for eSPSV grants, to arrange for this extension in relation to vehicles purchased in 2021.
  • Continuation and expansion of the home charging infrastructure scheme to include multi-unit dwellings.
  • Continuation of a grant scheme for taxi and hackney drivers.
  • Continuation of an alternatively fuelled heavy goods vehicles purchase grant scheme.
  • Continuation of the Low Emission Vehicle Toll Incentive Scheme.
  • Introduction of a revised scheme for public point charging.
  • Introduction of a new scheme for electric vans.
  • Introduction of a new scheme for destination charging.

EV Ireland

The majority of EV customers will charge their vehicles at home overnight and will use the public charging points as a means to top up the vehicles charge when necessary. Fleet customers will generally charge the vehicles at their company premises or at the home of the driver.

SIMI in its annual Budget Submissions to Government have pressed the case for maintaining incentives for Electric vehicles to support the migration toward alternative fuelled vehicles. We also have underlined the importance of low emission vehicles in the national fleet and the need to place no further burdens on the motorist.

This video shows TDs and senators experiencing their first drive in an electric vehicle in our pre Budget lobby (2017)