A 2022 Guide To Owning An Electric Vehicle in Ireland

A 2022 Guide to owning an Electric Vehicle EV in Ireland

An electric vehicle revolution is well underway here in Ireland and is on the cusp of becoming mainstream. With rising tides and the dramatic effects of climate change coercing many of us to question our motoring habits. The motor industry is on the road to making solely electrified vehicles by the year 2050. 

Hearing all of these new terms and not a hundred percent sure what all the fuss is about?

Good for the environment, great fuel economy, helpful for climate change, etc, etc... But what are the real benefits of switching to an electric vehicle and why are they becoming increasingly popular? You might also still be attached to the stigma of EV’s being highly expensive however the price has rapidly dropped over the years by 70% and the range is continuously increasing.

Electric vehicle (EV) classifies three different types of vehicles – a battery-operated electric vehicle (BEV), a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), and a plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV). The bev, hev and fev as we like to call them. Each features batteries and electric motors that work independently to move the vehicle with the use of electricity.

Ok, so here are the basics to get you up to speed:

EV’s are like an automatic car - they have a forward and reverse mode. When you place the vehicle in gear and press on the accelerator pedal these things happen:

  • Power is converted from the DC battery to AC for the electric motor
  • The accelerator pedal sends a signal to the controller which adjusts the vehicle's speed by changing the frequency of the AC power from the inverter to the motor
  • The motor connects and turns the wheels through a cog
  • When the brakes are pressed or the car is decelerating, the motor becomes an alternator and produces power, which is sent back to the battery

AC/DC and electric cars
AC stands for Alternating Current. In AC, the current changes direction at a determined frequency, like the pendulum on a clock.
DC stands for Direct Current. In DC, the current flows in one direction only, from positive to negative.

Battery Electric Vehicles
The key components of a Battery Electric Vehicle are:

Inverter

An inverter is a device that converts DC power to the AC power used in an electric vehicle motor. The inverter can change the speed at which the motor rotates by adjusting the frequency of the alternating current. It can also increase or decrease the power or torque of the motor by adjusting the amplitude of the signal.

Battery
An electric vehicle uses a battery to store electrical energy that is ready to use. A battery pack is made up of a number of cells that are grouped into modules. Once the battery has sufficient energy stored, the vehicle is ready to use. Battery technology has improved hugely in recent years. Current EV batteries are lithium based. These have a very low rate of discharge. This means an EV should not lose charge if it isn't driven for a few days, or even weeks.

Battery charger
The battery charger converts the AC power available on our electricity network to DC power stored in a battery. It controls the voltage level of the battery cells by adjusting the rate of charge. It will also monitor the cell temperatures and control the charge to help keep the battery healthy.

Controller
The controller is like the brain of a vehicle, managing all of its parameters. It controls the rate of charge using information from the battery. It also translates pressure on the accelerator pedal to adjust speed in the motor inverter.

Charging cable
A charging cable for standard charging is supplied with and stored in the vehicle. It's used for charging at home or at standard public charge points. A fast charge point will have its own cable.

Another great aspect of the EV is that it is incredibly quiet but holds fast acceleration. EV’s also features regenerative braking meaning the electrics can slow your car down, recharge your battery without using the brakes!

Hybrids (HEV)
These are known as HEV’s. These vehicles have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric battery however, is only charged by the ICE, the motion of the wheels or a combination of both. There is no charging connector.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
These are similar to the HEV, in that they use an internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motor. You can charge PHEVs from an electricity source, and access cheaper and cleaner electric power. The battery's energy is recharged by the ICE, wheel motion, or by plugging into a charge point.

Are there any incentives to owning an EV in Ireland in 2022?

Motor Tax in January 2021 for a BEV is €120 per annum and typically €170 per annum for a PHEV.

A maximum grant of €5,000 is available for qualifying new electric vehicles when purchased privately. Approved EVs with a List Price of less than €14,000 will not receive a grant. As of 1st July 2021 there is a cap of €60,000 on the full price of all vehicles. The full price of the vehicle to the customer includes all optional extras, paint and delivery for excludes any incentives such as grants or rebates.

The grant level applies to new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). The grant amount will depend on the list price of the vehicle. This is the full non-discounted price in the absence of VRT relief or grant support.

The Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will no longer be available from 1st January 2022. All new PHEV grants will only be accepted for vehicles delivered, registered, and taxed before the end of December 2021.

SEAI provides grant supports towards the purchase of new N1 category electric vehicles for business and public entities.  N1 category vehicles are typically small goods carrying vans with a technically permissible maximum mass not exceeding 3500kg. 

A maximum grant of €3,800 is available for qualifying N1 category EVs when purchased commercially. Approved EVs with a list price of less than €14,000 will not receive a grant. It should be noted that these grants apply to new vehicles only and cannot be claimed on second-hand vehicles.

The grant level depends on the list price of the vehicle. This is the full non-discounted price in the absence of VRT relief or grant support.

The Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) grant will no longer be available from 1st January 2022. All new PHEV grants will only be accepted for vehicles delivered, registered, and taxed before the end of December 2021.

Right then, what about some pros or cons?

BEV or Hybrid?
Here are some practical considerations to make when deciding whether to purchase a full electric or a hybrid. Some of these guidelines may be more or less important depending on your needs and wants.

BEV pros and cons
Pros

  • Most efficient use of energy means cheaper on fuel
  • Less moving parts means less wear and tear
  • Less emissions and reduced use of fossil fuels
  • No need for petrol or diesel

Cons

  • Smaller driving range than traditional vehicles, however, cars like the latest Hyundai Ioniq 5 now have a range of over 450km!

Hybrid pros and cons

Pros

  • Similar driving range to traditional vehicles
  • Back up fuel source when on longer journeys

Cons

  • Limited electric driving range
  • Must be plugged in more often to recharge battery
  • Less efficient than BEV due to weight of dual-drive systems

Ready to see what all the fuss is about? Give us a call and organise a test drive!


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