Electric vehicle charging to match cost of diesel after 67% further hike

In some cases a small petrol-powered car would be cheaper after ESB signalled new price rises

The cost of charging an electric vehicle at ESB public charge points is to rise by as much as 67 per cent from December 20th, having already risen by up to 47 per cent in May.

The price increases mean that for the first time fuelling many electric vehicles will be at least as expensive as diesel, while in a number of cases it would be cheaper to drive a small petrol-powered car.

The price increases coincide with news from the CSO this week that wholesale electricity prices are falling, having dropped 36.6 per cent lower than in October 2021, and down by 52.0 per cent since September 2022.

In an email to customers this week ESB eCars revealed the price for “standard” or slow, roadside charging which can take typically eight to ten hours, would rise from 33.6 cent per kWh to 56.3 cent per kWh, a rise of 23 cent per kWh, or about 67 per cent.


Charges for using a “fast charger” which delivers up to 50 kWh and can charge a typical electric vehicle to 80 per cent in about 40 minutes, will rise from 39.4 cent per kWh to 64.7 cent per kWh. This is a rise of some 64 per cent.

Charges for using a “rapid charger” which delivers up to 150 kWh, are set to rise from 46.1 cent per kWh to 61. 7 cents per kWh, an increase of almost 34 per cent. The 150 kWh chargers are not three times faster than their 50kWh counterparts, due in part to limits to the speed at which cars are able to accept a charge. The prices quoted are for pay-as-you-go charging. Bill payment is slightly cheaper, but requires a monthly subscription fee of €4.79.

ESB eCars last increased its fees for public charging of electric vehicles (EV) by up to 47 per cent from May 5th.

There are alternatives however and drivers can get cheaper rates if they are able to charge at home, and cheaper again if they can avail of smart meter rates.

Someone with a smart meter using a night rate can avail of a price of 21.5 cent per kWh, while those charging a car on the Night Boost tariff sees the rate fall to 12.6 cent per kWh between the hours of 2am and 4am.

Blake Boland of the AA said the latest price rises would bring the cost of electricity on the public charging network broadly into line with the price of diesel.

Earlier this month Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it would be “difficult” to reach the Government’s target of having almost one million cars on the roads by 2030, describing it as a “high target”.

The Government’s target is to introduce 845,000 electric cars, 95,000 vans, 3,500 lorries and 1,500 buses, bringing the total number of electric vehicles on the road to 945,000 by the end of the decade.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist