Thinking of buying an electric car?

August 11, 2023

The electric vehicle (EV) market is hitting top gear right now. Figures published by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that July was a record month for electric cars. 4,161 new EVs were registered last month alone, compared to 2,729 in July 2022.

If you are weighing up changing to an EV, there are many things you’ll need to consider. Let’s take a look under the hood!

What is an electric car?

An electric car is an otherwise normal car which runs solely on electricity. The energy used to operate the car is stored in a battery pack. You will need to charge this for the car to run. This can be from a home charger or a public charge point.

What to consider before you buy

1. Range

When switching to electric, you should first think carefully about your car usage. The range is the distance your EV will travel before it has to be recharged. The average range of most new electric vehicles is between 250km and 350km but can be less in colder weather.

It’s vital you have a good idea of the range you need for your usual driving needs and search for a car to suit this. You’ll pay more if you opt for an extended range model, which you may not need. Ideally, you want to be able to complete your typical daily journeys on a single charge and only recharge your EV overnight at home.

2. Charging at home

If considering a plug-in EV, you’ll need to think about how you will charge it. If you don’t have an existing charger, shop around and get at least three quotes from registered electrical installers. You can also ask your car dealer if they include a home charger as part of the car package.

The Government currently offers a support scheme towards the cost of a home EV charger. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) runs the home charger grant scheme and can advise you further. You can avail of up to €600 for buying and installing a charger at home.

The cost of charging your car at home will be less than at public charging points. You might be able to get a super off-peak night time price if you’ve a smart meter. Check with your electricity provider.

3. Charging on the road

For longer journeys, or if you can’t charge at home, you can charge your EV across the country using public charging points. You’ll see them located in carparks, shopping centres, town streets and motorway service stations. There are various providers, each with their own fees. Research the options out there to save on costs.

4. Financing your new EV

There are several options available when it comes to paying for your new electric wheels! These include a loan, a personal contract plan and hire purchase. Learn more about paying for your car. Some providers offer lower loan rates for electric cars, so make sure to shop around.

Grants are also available, and driving costs such as tolls and car tax can be cheaper with an EV. The SEAI have more on EV costs.

Return to News

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?