A major advantage in owning an electric vehicle is the reduced running costs. When charging using night rate electricity, savings of circa 80% are achievable when compared to an equivalent fossil fuel powered vehicle. For example, SEAI estimate the cost of charging an electric vehicle to travel 400km is circa €7.30, compared to €40.80 to fill an equivalent petrol car to cover the same distance. The roll-out of the National Smart Energy Metering programme will also allow domestic electricity consumers to make further savings by choosing a tariff and charging their electric vehicles when electricity prices are at their lowest. The price of electricity, whether via existing meters or smart meters, is a matter for electricity suppliers.
The Climate Action Plan, which sets a target of 936,000 electric vehicles on the road in Ireland by 2030, sets out a range of actions to support the uptake of electric vehicles which includes:
- introducing a capital support that will be provided to Local Authorities for the development of on-street public chargers;
- commencing the ESB Electric Vehicle High Power Charging Infrastructure Development Project, supported by the Climate Action Fund;
- expanding the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant to include shared parking (e.g. in apartment blocks); and
- introducing legislation to ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars from 2030.
There is a wide range of supports already available to support the uptake of electric vehicles including purchase grants, tax relief and discounted tolls. Information on the benefits of switching to electric vehicles can be found on www.drivingelectric.ie .