Frequently Asked Questions

One of ecars' roles is to inform and educate people about electric vehicles. Below are a number of frequently asked questions that we receive. If you have any other questions you would like answered, please email us at ecars@esb.ie or post a question on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ESBecars.

General Queries about Electric Vehicles and ecars Charge Point Network

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

1.    Battery Electric Vehicles (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 Electric Vehicles (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 Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are vehicles that combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) with batteries and an electric engine too. Both engines power the vehicle so it has two external sources of energy: the fuel for the thermical engine and the electrical network for the batteries.

A: To access the public charge point network as a visitor in Ireland, you need to email ecars@esb.ie with proof of purchase (e.g. vehicle registration document) and a utility bill (not older than three months). An RFID card, which enables use of the network in Ireland, can then be sent to your home address (the address that appears on the utility bill provided) prior to your arrival to Ireland. Please allow a reasonable period of time to apply for this RFID card prior to departure from your home country

A: Yes you can disconnect your car at any time. Learn more about electric car safety here.

A: Electric vehicles offer numerous benefits to customers and business. Check out all of the benefits here.

A: There are three charging options: home charging, public charging or fast charging. The first 2,000 purchasers of a newly registered electric car who qualify for the SEAI Grant will get a free home charge point so that your electric car can be charged from your domestic electricity supply.

There are currently 1,200 public charge points available nationwide in locations such as on-street, shopping centres, car parks etc.

Every town with 1,500 inhabitants or more gets a charge point installed in that area. Fast charge points located along main inter-urban routes at service stations and roadside cafés to cater for those on longer journeys. You can view the installed and planned charge points nationwide on the electric car charge point map here.

A: A full charge will cost as little as €2.00 by charging overnight at home using discounted night rate electricity. Please contact your supply company to find out more about night rate electricity tariffs.

A: Access to the public infrastructure is currently available at no cost.

A: There a number of useful charge point user instruction videos available on our website and YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/ESBecars Additionally, a link to these videos are available on the charge point icons on our ecar connect mobile app

A: You can access ESB ecars and ecarNI public charge point network using the same access card for both.

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

1. CHADEMO (Sumitomo) : this connector is used to charge the Nissan leaf & Mitsubishi cars such as  i-MIEV and OUTLANDER.

2. CCS COMBO: this connector is the new emerging German standard and is used to charge the BMW i3 and the VW Golf.  Also the Hyundai IONIQ (not German) needs to use this connector. 

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

A:  There are three types of charging options:

  • Home charging - 6-8* hours
  • Public charging - 2-6* hours
  • Fast charging takes as little as 25* minutes to achieve an 80% charge.

*Due to different types and battery sizes of electric cars, these times may vary.

A: The range differs for each electric car. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a range of 150km, the Nissan LEAF has a range of 199km but the Tesla Model S has a range of 420km.  View details of all electric cars here.

A: The rating marked on charge points is the maximum continuous rate of charge available to an electric vehicle from the charger.

 

The vehicles 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:

  1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 to 25 C. The main factors effecting battery temperature is the amount of driving and charging done up to the charging session.

A: Because of their relative newness, electric cars have a higher purchase price than conventional cars. However, several factors reduce the overall costs. These include a zero rate of VRT relief of up to €5,000, purchase grant for up to €5000, lower road tax of €120, reduced maintenance costs (due to fewer moving parts), plus dramatically lower fuel costs. For certain car models, the driver purchases the car and leases the battery.

A: Tax for all electric cars is currently in the lowest tax bracket which is €120. Our comparative cost calculator shows how an electric car can save you even more money!

A: Electric cars are capable of conventional car speed, acceleration and power. Electric supercars such as the Tesla can reach 0 – 60 km in 3.7 seconds and top speeds of 200km/h. Electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF reach 0 – 60 km in 10 seconds and can drive up to 140 km/h. View the choice of electric cars or choice of electric fleet vehicles available here.

A: No, you cannot plug your car into a regular house or outdoor socket or use extension cables as this may be dangerous. Read more about electric car safety here.

A: Electric cars 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 cars 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 motoring. Read more about the environmental impact of electric cars here.

A:   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 electric car versus 150gCO2/km for a conventional car).

A:  The move to e-mobility naturally includes commercial fleets. Current emissions of CO2 in the Irish transport sector accounts for approximately 13 million tonnes annually, with commercial vehicles contributing to that.

Some of the benefits include accelerated capital allowance scheme, government incentives, zero VRT relief, and significantly lower running costs. More information on all benefits to business can be found here.

A:   Most experts say that the lifetime of a battery is between six and 10 years. Once the battery comes to the end of their lifespan, they can be recycled. There is also the potential for the batteries to be reused for a number of different functions.

  • Some manufacturers such as Nissan and Mitsubishi are offering a battery guarantee on their cars of five years or 100,000kms, whichever comes first. Tesla offers guarantee of eight years and 200,000kms or unlimited km depending on battery option.