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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
  • Fast charging (AC) - 1-6 hours depending on car model and range
  • Rapid charging  -30* minutes to achieve an 80% charge

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 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 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.

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.

Charging your EV on the ESB public charging network

There are currently over 1,350 public charge points available across the island of Ireland with over 300 of those located in Northern Ireland. These are at 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 available from the Google Play and Apple app stores 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 and 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 EV's such as the Renault Zoe.

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 public charging network, create an account via the sign up form on our homepage. 

How do I start and stop a charging session?

You can start and stop a charging session by using an ESB charge point access card or alternatively by using the ecar connect app following these steps;

1. Use the app to find your nearest ESB charge point (or ecarNI branded charger).
2. Select your charge point.
3. Select your connector type.
4. Follow the in-app instructions to start charging by swiping right.
5. Remember to check the app to ensure your car has started charging.
6. Keep an eye on the charger screen, chargers may vary, some may require you to press the start     button on the charger itself.
7. Swipe left to stop the charge when you are finished.

 

 

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