Electric cars – charging ahead?

Destroying the incentive

A chara, – They say one should never waste a good crisis and the ESB seems intent on not doing so by adding an up to 67 per cent price increase on top of a previous 47 per cent price increase last May at public electric vehicle charge points.

This is despite a 37 per cent decrease in wholesale electricity prices since last September and a 52 per cent decrease since September 2022 and brings the cost of electricity up to a level comparable to diesel (“Electric vehicle charging to match cost of diesel after 67 per cent further hike”, News, November 24th).

With electric car prices still far beyond the reach of most car buyers, this destroys the one incentive we had to go electric, the reduced cost of running one, which could offset the increased repayments required to finance the purchase.

With the purchase of electric vehicles already far below the Government targets required to achieve our greenhouse gas emissions reductions, this latest increase seems designed to sabotage any chance we ever had of meeting those targets.


Buying an electric vehicle now only makes sense if you have a private charge point and large solar panel installation, which excludes the vast majority of the population.

Once again, the Green Party seems to be asleep at the wheel with the Minister for Energy already having allowed swingeing increases in road tolls at a time of booming revenues for toll operators due to increased traffic volumes.

What planet does Eamon Ryan live on? – Is mise,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Ireland is the second highest emitter per capita of such gases in the EU. Electric cars are not a magic bullet, but they may be a small step in the right direction.

Last December we invested in an electric car. On two occasions since then we have used it to travel outside the Dublin area, to Donegal and to Galway respectively.

The lack of fast-charging stations en route remains a major problem: there were only two listed on the ESB app that made sense for our journey to Donegal last January; the first one was occupied and there was a queue. When we reached the second one, desperately needing to recharge our battery, it was out of service. We finally arrived at our destination four hours later than anticipated with just 15km battery power remaining.

On the return journey five days later that charging station was still out of order.

Ten days ago, we had to travel to Galway for a funeral. Of the three fast-charging stations near the motorway listed on the app, two were out of order. The app did not inform of us of this. We made it to the funeral with three minutes to spare and, again, under 20km remaining battery power.

If Irish expressions of commitment to greenhouse gas reduction are to be any more than empty words, Ireland, among other things, needs to improve the electric car infrastructure as a matter of urgency.

At the very least, the ESB app should be kept up to date so that drivers know in advance which charging stations are out of service. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – I take umbrage at the choice of headline on the article regarding ESB e-cars increase in public charging. The equivalence with diesel prices is only for the part of the population that exclusively uses this supplier of electricity.

The article quite rightly explains that home charging is still significantly cheaper than fossil fuel equivalents, yet that detail is buried behind the “Electric vehicle charging to match cost of diesel after 67 per cent further hike” headline.

As we try to progress toward electrification of our transport fleet, I feel it is incumbent on the media to present the information in a balanced manner, and such a headline like this does not do that.

I also appreciate that not everyone has a driveway (to facilitate charging), but based on recent data from the National Transport Authority, at least 50 per cent of cars are parked in driveways in Dublin city alone, so home charging is achievable for a large part of our car fleet. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 16.