Ireland’s first private fast charging point opens this week at the Four Seasons hotel in Monaghan. The location of the 50kW rapid charger is meant to offer an alternative to motorway service stations for electric car owners.
The charger is being installed by EasyGo, an Irish company which wants to take on the ESB’s current dominant position in publicly-accessible fast chargers.
EasyGo plans to expand further into the public charging point sphere, and has said that it wants to install 88 rapid-charge public points by the end of 2020. It aims to have another 19 points in operation by the end of this year, and plans to expand its current employment base from just nine to more than 50 by the end of 2020.
Although overall numbers are still relatively low, electric car sales have grown by 539 per cent so far this year, while plug-in hybrid sales are up 166 per cent.
According to EasyGo's founder Chris Kelly: "If a charger is used three to four times per day, then that works for us" said Mr Kelly. "When it comes to the finance side, though, someone has to be out there, bridging the gap for EV drivers. We're not going to break even on these chargers in year one or year two. This is a long-term project for us."
Last week the ESB announced a long-awaited upgrade to its national charging network. ESB's e-Cars EV charging offshoot has announced that eight rapid chargers at Circle K fuel stations across the country (in Limerick, Shannon, Athlone, Clondalkin, Dublin Port, Glasnevin, Rathgar and Douglas) are being upgraded to the CCS fast-charging plug system.
Those chargers will have a 50kW charging capacity, as will nine other upgraded chargers at locations in Offaly, Kerry, Carlow, Kilkenny, Sligo, Wexford, Tipperary, and Donegal.