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Learn more about:

What is an electric vehicle (EV)?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered in total, or partially, by electric power from batteries charged in the electrical network.

What types of EVs are there?

  1. Battery EVs (BEVs) are vehicles powered by one or several electric engines, supplied by electrical energy stored in batteries that have been charged in the electrical network.
  2. Extended-Range EVs (E-REVs) are vehicles of similar characteristics to BEVs where traction is only electrical. However, they also include an internal combustion engine functioning as a generator to charge batteries, increasing the vehicle’s autonomy.
  3. Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) are vehicles that combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) with batteries and an electric engine as well. Both engines power the vehicle so it has two external sources of energy: the fuel for the engine and the electrical network for the batteries.

What is the driving range of an EV?

The range varies depending on the make and model of the EV and is dependent on the vehicle efficiency, battery capacity as well as driving style.

How long does it take to charge an EV?

There are three different types of charging options:

  • Home charging - 6-8 hours
  • Public charging (Standard AC) - 1-6 hours depending on car model and range
  • Fast charging (DC) - 30* minutes to achieve an 80% charge
  • High Power Charging  - 100km range in as little as 6 minutes
    *Due to different types and battery sizes of EVs, these times may vary.

Why do EV's charge at different rates?

The rating marked on charge points is the maximum continuous rate of charge available to an EV from the charger.

The vehicle's Battery Management System (BMS) continuously controls the rate during a charging session and dictates the rate of charge. The rate depends on a number of factors outside of the control of the charger.

The most common factors effecting the charging rate are:

  • Make & Model of EV: Some models of EVs are not capable of availing of the full kW available from a charge point but can still obtain a charge suitable to its own maximum charging rate.
  • State of Charge (SOC) of battery: The rate of charging allowed by the EVs BMS reduces as the battery comes closer to fully charged in order to reduce stress on the battery pack. This reduction for most EV models starts around 50% and charge rate reduces dramatically after 80%. Fast charging is most effective up to 80% SOC.
  • Temperature of Battery: If the battery is too cold or too hot, the EVs BMS will adjust the rate of charge to protect the cells of the battery. Some EVs will activate internal heaters or fans to maintain a temperature between 20 and 25C. The main factors effecting battery temperature is the amount of driving and charging done up to the charging session.

What is the motor tax charge on an EV?

Tax for all EVs is currently in the lowest tax bracket which is €120. Check out the other benefits of driving an electric vehicle here

What is the lifetime of an EV battery?

Most experts say that the lifetime of a battery is between six and 10 years. Once the battery comes to the end of its lifespan, it can be recycled. Some manufacturers offer a battery guarantee on their vehicles of five or seven years or 160,000kms, whichever comes first. Please check with your vehicle dealer for more information.

What are the benefits of driving an EV?

EVs offer numerous benefits to customers and business. Click here for more information.

What are the environmental benefits?

EVs offer a real opportunity to reduce the carbon output of the transport sector, as they emit zero exhaust pipe emissions. Most people will charge their vehicles at night when a higher proportion of electricity is generated from wind. The growth in the generation of electricity from renewable sources offers a route towards carbon free, emission free motoring.

What are the emission levels of an EV compared with a conventional vehicle?

As more of Ireland’s electricity is generated from renewable energy, the level of emissions associated with electric motoring will approach zero. With the current mix of fuels used to generate electricity in Ireland, emissions will be on average less than half of those of a conventional internal combustion engine (70gCO2/km for an EV versus 150gCO2/km for a conventional vehicle.

Where can I charge my EV?

The majority of EV's are charged at home or at work using a dedicated charge point or on the ESB public charging network which can be found at locations such as on-street, hotels and motorway service areas.

Charging your EV at home

How do I charge my EV at home?

The safest way to charge an EV at home is to use dedicated electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).  This consists of an outdoor socket properly protected against rain and a residual current device type that is designed to handle DC pulses, as well as AC current. A separate circuit from the distribution board should be used to supply the EVSE. Extension leads should not be used, as even uncoiled; they are not intended to carry full rated current for lengthy periods.

How do I apply for a home charge point?

A number of energy suppliers offer home charger installation. The Government offers a grant of €600 towards the installation of a home charger unit. The grant is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Details of the new grant scheme can be found here.

How much will it cost for a full charge at home?

A full charge will cost as little as €3 by charging overnight at home using discounted night rate electricity. Please contact your energy supplier for more information.

Can I plug my vehicle into my regular house socket or can I use an extension cable?

No, you cannot plug your vehicle into a regular house or outdoor socket or use extension cables as this may be dangerous. For more on safety please visit our safety section here.

Charging your EV on the ESB public charging network

There are currently approximately 1,100 public charge points available nationwide in locations such as on-street, shopping centres, vehicle parks etc.

How do I find the closest charge point to me?

Information on the location and real-time availability status of charge points is provided through the ecar connect mobile app and on our charge point map on the website.

Are there different charging connectors at the public charging points for different types of EVs?

1. DC CHADEMO: This connector is used to charge Nissan Leaf & Mitsubishi vehicles.

2. CCS COMBO: This connector is used to charge EVs such as BMW, Volkswagen, Hyundai etc.

3. AC 43: This connector is used to charge the Renault Zoe. It may be also possible to charge a Tesla S using this connector.

What chargers do I pay to use and which ones are free?

There are currently two types of chargers on the ESB ecars public charging network, AC (Standard) and DC (Fast chargers).  There is also a new High Power Charging network roll out planned.

AC Network

The AC network is currently being upgraded and continues to be free to use while these upgrades are taking place.  Pricing will be introduced for the AC network in 2020. Please check our website and social media channels for updates. 

DC (Fast) Network

To use the DC or Fast charging network, charges are incurred. To sign up create an account via the ecar connect app available from the Apple app store or Google Play store or through our website. Once you have created your account and chosen your preferred payment option, you’re ready to use the network.

I am a new EV driver. How do I sign up to use the ESB public fast charging network?

To sign up to use the ESB ecars public charging network, create an account via the ecar connect app available from the Apple app store or Google Play store or through our website. Once you have created your account and chosen your preferred payment option, you’re ready to use the network. For more information on how to use our chargers, check out our ‘How to’ video.                                                                   

Now that I’m signed up, how do I use the charger?

For more information on how to use the charger, check out our ‘How to’ video.

How do I start and stop a charging session?

You can start and stop a charging session with the ecar connect app or by using an ESB charge point access card.

How do I get an ESB charge point access card?

Sign up as a member via our ecar connect app or on our website, and receive a free ESB charge point access card. If you are a PAYG user you can get a free ESB charge point card if you top up by €20 or you can purchase an ESB charge point access card for €10.

How long can I stay at an ESB fast charge point?

It typically takes as little as 30 minutes to charge an electric vehicle at a fast charging point up to 80%. To maximize the availability of Fast charge points for all drivers, we encourage you to complete your session within 45 minutes. After this time, an overstay fee of €5 will apply.

I don’t want to use the fast chargers but want to continue to use the AC chargers. Do I still need to sign up?

You do not need to Sign Up to use ESB AC chargers, However, it is advised to download the ecar connect app for easy use of the ESB public charging network. It provides the ability to swipe to start or stop a charge. It also shows the real-time availability of the charge point network on the interactive map. You can continue to use your ESB charge point access card also but this will not work on the ESB Fast charging network.

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+353 (0)1 258 3799
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About ESB ecars

Everything you need to know about using the ESB public charging network.

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