Energy Tip #2 – Electric Vehicles

CKEA Energy Tip - September 2017

Ireland’s Government policy has set a target for 10% of all vehicles on our roads to be powered by electricity by 2020, this will represent approximately 230,000 vehicles. The plan includes:

  • National roll-out of charging infrastructure with:
    – 2,000 domestic charge points
    – 1,500 public access city and town charge points
    – 30 inter urban fast charging points spaced 60km apart
  • Government grant of €5,000 for electric vehicles and €2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles available in 2011 and 2012 from SEAI. Grants will be available via vehicle suppliers for passenger vehicles with M1 classification under the European Whole Vehicle Type Approval Process and an euroNCAP rating of at least 3. See for further details.
  • VRT exemption for electric cars and a rebate of up to €2,500 for hybrid electric cars until the end of 2012
  • SEAI support for research and demonstration projects
  • Tax incentives for businesses to purchase electric vehicles

Source:  SEAI Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide


Ireland’s average daily round trip commutes of 30km are ideal for electric vehicles operating in urban areas:

  • Lithium ion battery equipped vehicles provide ranges of up to 120km on a single overnight charge.
  • A network of fast charging points (~20mins per charge) is planned to enable electric vehicles to traverse the relatively short intra urban distances in ireland. See for further details


  • EV’s are cheaper to operate with low maintenance and up to 70% lower fuel costs.
  • EV’s are very suitable for stop-start urban driving with good acceleration from rest and lower top speed.
  • They are smoother and quieter than conventional vehicles.
  • Tail pipe emissions are lower or zero emissions (i.e. for the Bev) making city air cleaner and healthier.
  • For BEVs, the overall fuel emissions reductions are 30% compared with diesel assuming the current electricity mix. This figure could rise to a 100% reduction if the electricity was supplied exclusively by renewables (for example in the case of on-site wind generation).

At a national level, 14% of Ireland’s electricity comes from renewable energy, this is set to rise to 40% by 2020.

Source:  SEAI Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide


  • The kilometre range of electric vehicles has improved significantly in recent times. Electric vehicles are now capable of journey’s ranging between 156km- 539km on a single full charge due to their efficient use of stored power and other technological advancements.
  • Electric vehicles can reach onboard energy efficiencies up to 80%. The maximum energy efficiency for modern petrol and diesel engines ranges from 25%-54%. In monetary terms, for every euro spent on diesel or petrol on a modern car, €0.46- €0.75 is rejected as heat energy.
  • Electric vehicles emit no tailpipe pollutants, although the power plant producing the electricity may emit pollutants. However, electricity from hydro, solar or wind-power plants causes no air pollution.
  • Charging for electric vehicles is currently free of charge at ESB charging points across Ireland.
  • Fully recharging an electric vehicle battery can take 4 to 8 hours. A fast charger can take battery capacity from 0% to 80% in 30 minutes.

Source: *Based on household survey (NTS,2016) on the travel behaviour of respondents
**Derived from current CSO publications