Electric vehicles, or EVs, offer Irish motorists a unique opportunity to reduce their motoring costs and cut emissions at the same time.
As the choice of vehicles expand, battery technology improves, range increases and public charging – particularly fast and high power charging – points become more prevalent, electric vehicles offer Irish drivers a more affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly motoring option.
Electric vehicles (EVs) emit zero tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions thereby helping to improve air quality in our towns and cities. And, as outlined by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), there is a 74% reduction in transport costs compared to using a standard new diesel engine car.
The aforementioned benefits now mean Electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream. The Government’s ambitious plans to increase EV adoption and ESB’s roll out of fast-charging infrastructure should help, in turn, to also encourage uptake.
The nationwide ESB network of 1,100 charging points is currently being upgraded with plans in progress to install new high-power charging hubs across the country as part of a €20 million investment. One of these new high-powered chargers can deliver 100 kilometres of power in as little as six minutes – giving EV motorists the convenience and peace of mind of petrol and diesel car owners, and, at the same time, dealing with the issue of “range anxiety.”
A majority of EV charging takes place at home with a Government-funded support scheme in place to assist homeowners install a charge point their property. The scheme, launched in January 2018, provides a grant up to €600 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger unit.
Reasons to Charge
There are lots of really good reasons to move to an EV .
- There are EV grants, made available through the SEAI, to make more affordable to switch, with the size of the funding depending on the value of the car. A maximum grant of €5,000 is available for qualifying electric vehicles worth €20,000 or more.
- Direct carbon emission values are used to calculate the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and annual motor tax bands for vehicles meaning that EVs pay the lowest rates of road tax and VRT.
- Specifically in relation to VRT, EVs are also entitled to a maximum rebate of €5,000 while plug-in hybrids are eligible for a rebate of €2,500. In addition, motor tax for the majority of EVs is currently in the lowest tax bracket which is €120.
- EVs can enjoy a 50% saving on motorway tolls where they have an electronic toll tag.
- For company cars, no Benefit in Kind charges arise for the employee.
- Servicing and maintenance costs are also lower as EVs have fewer moving parts than traditional petrol and diesel cars.
When added up, the various incentives are making EVs an attractive proposition.
Decarbonisation Benefits of EVs
It is not just Irish motorists – and their pockets – that will benefit from EVs becoming mainstream. The environment, the country and all citizens will all gain from the growing popularity of this transformation of Irish motoring.
The transport sector energy use is currently almost exclusively (98%) oil-based and transport emissions are a challenge for Ireland. Emissions from transport accounted for 20% of our total greenhouse gas emissions of 60.5 Mt in 2018.The expected improvements in emissions standards for conventional vehicles will not be enough to arrest this growth. And this is where the transition to EVs will make the difference.
A move to EVs powered by renewable energy will greatly reduce our carbon emissions and pollution. In 2018, 46% of transport fuel in Ireland was used in private car and light duty vehicles. EVs can remove 100% of emissions from car and van transport. Indeed, even with the current generation mix, EVs will save 46% in overall emissions. By the end of 2020, almost 40 per cent of our electricity will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar power. With energy providers, such as ESB Generation and Trading, increasing its generation of electricity from renewable resources, that overall emissions savings from EVs will increase.
Ireland has committed to reducing emissions by 20% compared to 2005 levels by the end of 2020, with more stretching targets in place for 2030. EVs have a key role to play in helping to move the transport sector to a sustainable, zero-pollution, environmentally friendly future.
It’s no wonder that the future of motoring is electric.