ESB introduces charges for its fast electric car chargers

Plan to introduce high-power hubs at more than 50 locations to bolster network

ESB is due to introduce a  series of 150kW high-power hubs next year. Photograph: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

ESB is due to introduce a series of 150kW high-power hubs next year. Photograph: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

 

ESB will start charging drivers who use its public electric car charging network from next month. Price plans will be available based on both subscription and pay-as-you-go models, with the first fees to apply to its 50-kilowatt (kW) fast chargers from November 18th.

A series of 150kW high-power hubs, which are due to be introduced next year, will be the next to attract subscriptions.

Two price plans will be available for fast chargers. The pay-as-you-go option will be charged at 33 cent per kW. A separate membership model will cost €5 a month, with a reduced charging fee of 29 cent per kW.

Drivers who sign up before the end of November will have the monthly fee waived for 12 months.

More than 50 high-power charging hubs are set to be introduced on motorway and national road sites. They will have the capability of charging between two and eight vehicles at once, and delivering up to 100km of electric driving range in about six minutes.

The standard (22kW AC) network will remain free while the network is upgraded, ESB said.

Network expansion

The introduction of fees for use of the public network is part of a €20 million expansion of the public network.

“If like most EV [electric vehicle] drivers, you do most of your charging at home, where it is cheapest and most convenient, then you’ll keep paying for the energy you use as you already do,” Niall Hogan, head of ESB ecars, said.

“What we are really talking about is the fast-charging network. We have about 70 of those chargers around the country, and we have a flexible price plan to suit how little or how often people use the public charging network.”

Mr Hogan said some electric car drivers will want to use the public charging network to top up “occasionally” or if on longer journeys.

“In all cases, they’ll offer substantial savings compared to the cost of fuelling an equivalent petrol or diesel car,” he said.

ESB previously attempted to introduce fees for charging electric vehicles from the start of 2016, and has since missed a second deadline to charge for the network.

The latest move will be a boost for rivals such as Ionity, a pan-EU charge network, which has multiple fast chargers on the M8 and M11, and EasyGo, which has some chargers at locations such as Kinnegad and Monaghan town, which will no longer have to compete with free ESB charging points for customers.