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Driving Electric could save you up to €14,500 over three years

Benefits of electric vehicles go beyond environmental impact

With so many savings to be made, customers are becoming increasingly aware of the inherent benefits of EV

With so many savings to be made, customers are becoming increasingly aware of the inherent benefits of EV

 

There are many ways to make savings by driving an electric vehicle (EV), including through tax breaks, reduced toll charges and lower servicing costs.

We take an in-depth look at the savings that can be made.

Purchase

Private individuals can save up to €5,000 on the purchase of an EV through an SEAI electric vehicle grant, while the VRT relief is anything up to €5,000 for new vehicles until the end of 2021.

Claims of up to €600 towards the purchase and installation of an electric vehicle home charger unit is also available for buyers of both new and secondhand electric vehicles from January 1st, 2018.

A new grant from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is supporting measures to stimulate the take-up of EVs in the taxi /hackney/limousine sector, administered by the NTA.

Servicing costs are far lower due to the lack of heat, friction and vibration in an EV’s powertrain

Commercial organisations can make use of a new zero per cent benefit in kind (BIK) rate to incentivise fully electric vehicles without mileage conditions, while EVs and charging equipment qualify under the accelerated capital allowance (ACA) for commercial organisations.

Incentives

Motor tax is also cheaper for EVs, while from early summer, the toll incentives regime will see new and secondhand EV drivers be able to avail of discounted rates across a number of toll roads. There will be a 50 per cent toll discount for fully EVs and a 25 per cent toll discount for plug-in hybrid vehicles. There will be an individual €500 annual cap and commercial €1,000 annual cap on this.

With so many savings to be made, customers are becoming increasingly aware of the inherent benefits of EVs, says Jeremy Warnock of Renault Ireland. However, few realise that in a single year, doing a fairly typical 20,000km, a Renault Zoe for example, will save drivers at least €1,000 compared to an equivalent petrol, diesel or hybrid car.

“Meanwhile servicing costs are far lower due to the lack of heat, friction and vibration in an EV’s powertrain. That said, the Irish government’s generous supports for EVs remain an essential part of making the vehicles themselves affordable,” he adds.

“Transport represents the single largest sector of energy use, half of which is private cars.”Photograph: iStock
“Transport represents the single largest sector of energy use, half of which is private cars.”Photograph: iStock

While the initial outlay for the car can be more than the price of an equivalent petrol or diesel car in some cases, this is quickly recouped in many ways, Paddy Comyn, head of group communications at VW Group says.

“For the business owner or driver, not only is there the €8,800 off the initial purchase price, on an average of 10,000km per year, we estimate that a driver will save around €1,950 in fuel costs. Maintenance is cheaper, around €150 less compared to an equivalent petrol Golf over three years. Factor in the reduced toll charges, which could amount to as much as €1,500 over three years, and for the business user, zero per cent BIK amounts to a saving of €11,916 compared to an equivalent petrol Golf.

Allowances

Factor in the potential for business to avail of accelerated capital allowances when buying the vehicle outright (up to €2,558 in Year 1) and for a company owner / driver there could be savings of approximately €24,500 over three years with an eGolf compared to a Golf TSI petrol. For a private customer, there are considerable savings too. Taking into account €10,000 of purchase grants, cheaper road tax, fuel savings, reduced maintenance costs, reduced tolls and a Wallbox grant, over three years compared to a Golf TSI petrol a private customer could save around €14,500,” he says.

Not every driver can switch in the short term, we must ensure that it is considered a real option for the majority of new car purchases

A spokesperson for SEAI says it’s imperative that there is a rapid transition from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles. In 2018, registrations for new Irish cars was at 2050, so far in 2019 the figure is 2035, so a swing towards EV is evidenced.

“Transport represents the single largest sector of energy use, half of which is private cars. In 2017, 97 per cent of transport energy was from oil-based products. Ireland’s geographical extent makes it well suited to electric cars and, while not every driver can switch in the short term, we must ensure that it is considered a real option for the majority of new car purchases from now on. A transition to a largely electrified passenger fleet, along with the consideration of alternative fuels for commercial, public transport and freight is essential.

“We also need people to consider other lower carbon options for travel, such as walking, cycling and public transport where possible,” she said.