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Back to Blog 28 April 2017

The future of electric vehicles is here

Electric Living

The motor industry is transforming at a rapid rate with car manufacturers investing significant amounts of money in developing car batteries and new electric vehicles (EVs) as they strive to meet stringent carbon emission targets and the demands of global customers.

So what is an Electric Vehicle?

An electric vehicle or ecar is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device. Unlike conventional vehicles, fully electric vehicles do not use petrol or diesel, but electric motors powered by electricity sourced from the mains to recharge car batteries

A key factor for electric vehicle drivers is the ease and ability to charge vehicles, at home and on the road. Through dedicated home charge points, fully electric and plug-in vehicles can be charged with users opting to charge overnight to capitalise on lower electricity rates. Thanks to significant investment over the last seven years, Ireland has one of the most comprehensive charge point networks in Europe with more than 1,100 charging units dotted around the island of Ireland. This includes fast charge, offering users the ability to charge the electric vehicle up to 80% in around 25 minutes. 

Benefits of Electric Vehicles

  • Research shows that electric vehicles are three times more energy efficient than conventional cars and offer considerable fuel cost savings for users.
  • As they emit zero tailpipe emissions and are quiet to operate, they improve air quality and reduce noise pollution. 
  • Purchasers of fully electric vehicles that qualify under the SEAI grant scheme, receive a €5,000 grant and are at the lowest tax band of €120.
  • Fully electric vehicles have less moving parts meaning reduced service and maintenance costs for drivers. 

Types of Electric Vehicles

Pure electric or battery electric

 An all-electric battery-powered vehicle (BEV) uses electrical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. They derive all power from battery packs and thus have no internal combustion engine (ICE), fuel cell, or fuel tank. All power to recharge the battery is derived from an external source of electricity either through home charging, which can cost as little as €2 for a charge using night rate electricity, or by using the public charging network.

Types of Pure Electric or Battery Electric Vehicle in Ireland

  • Nissan LEAF
  • Tesla Model S
  • BMWi3
  • Renault Zoe
  • Volkswagen eGolf
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric
  • Nissan e-NV200 Commercial Van
  • Renault Kangoo Z.E. Commercial Van

Plug-in hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) can be plugged into an electrical source. This gives the advantage of using not only a petrol/diesel engine as your energy source but also electrical energy which can be sourced at public chargers and /or at home for a fraction of the cost compared to petrol/diesel. Normally, these vehicles can generally travel up to 50km on electrical energy alone which covers the majority of commutes, but then has a conventional engine for longer journeys.

Types of Plug-in Hybrid Cars

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  • Audi A3 e-tron
  • Volvo XC90 T8
  • Volvo V60 Twin engine
  • BMW 2 series iPerformance
  • BMW 3 series iPerformance
  • BMW X5 I Performance
  • BMW 7 series iPerformance
  • BMWi8
  • Mercedes c350e
  • VW Passat GTE
  • VW Golf GTE

Eligible plug in hybrids can also quality for the SEAI grant scheme giving up to €2,500 grant and the lowest tax band of €120 euros.


Hybrid vehicles use two drive systems, one petrol or diesel engine and the other an electric drive to power the vehicle. The vehicle switches between drive systems to get the most economical means of travel. The only way of recharging the electrical drive/battery is from regenerated braking.

While it less energy efficient than a fully electric or plug in hybrid vehicle, a hybrid is generally more efficient than a vehicle powered solely by petrol or diesel.

Types of Hybrid Cars

  • Toyota Prius  (Hybrids do not fall under the SEAI grant scheme)
  • Toyota Auris
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Lexus RX450H
  • Lexus IS300
  • Lexus NX300H
  • Hyundai Ioniq
For more information on electric vehicles, click here