Electric vehicles includes full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). A BEV receives all of its energy from the electrical grid; a PHEV can be supplied with energy from either the grid or the fuel pump. Some 75 per cent of the Irish electric car fleet are BEVs, 25 per cent are PHEVs.
"Savings and benefits are greater and more certain for BEVs, therefore it is encouraging to see such a strong proportion of BEVs in Ireland's growing fleet," says Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland chief executive Jim Gannon. "BEV growth is in turn strongly influenced by the quality and availability of charging infrastructure [provided by the ESB]."
Average vehicle cost in Ireland is €28,500. Battery costs are generally a third of the overall cost – and have dropped by up to 65 per cent since 2011.
Electric vehicle owners benefit from a €5,000 grant from the energy authority, vehicle registration tax reliefs of up to €5,000 and free recharging at 800 charging points across the country. There are 80 faster new-model DC chargers. Batteries have increased energy density by a factor of three since 2011, resulting in increased range. New BEVs after 2020 will offer driving ranges of 450km to 600km.
Fast Chargers operate at 50kW of power and can supply 175km range to a BEV in 30 minutes. The European Fast Charging standard is changing and will allow 150kW charging in 2018 to provide the same charge in 10 minutes.
Electric vehicles can deliver 75 per cent better energy cost savings than a diesel car.