Moving Up A Gear: Electric Car Uptake Accelerates In Ireland

Posted on Wednesday 19 December 2018 by CarTakeBack

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Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular, with global sales estimated to reach 2 million in 2019 (Forbes).

Here in Ireland, we’re making waves towards an electric vehicle takeover. Earlier In 2018, we hit big milestone with new and imported electric vehicle registrations up 40% - a huge increase.

Why are electric car sales accelerating?

SEIA grants

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland are offering up to a €5000 grant towards buying a new electric vehicle. Find out more about how to qualify for the grants here.

What’s more, you can also get a €600 grant to help with the installation of a home charger.

The upfront costs of an electric vehicle are often much higher than a new standard vehicle. However, with these grants available, the prices become much more comparable for the buyer.

Running costs

The running costs for an electric car are substantially lower than petrol and diesel cars.

Based on an average distance of 200km per week, the weekly fuel costs with an electric car is €2.54, compared to €21.60 in a petrol car and €15.74 in a diesel. That’s saving of between €19 and €13 per week - huge amounts when totalled annually.

Compare how much money you’d save running an electric vehicle compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle, with this handy calculator from ESB.


Vehicle emissions are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. We’re becoming more and more aware of the environmental issues caused by petrol and diesel cars - adding to global warming and air pollution that can lead to respiratory problems.

Electric cars are a welcomed answer to these urgent environmental issues, helping to protect our planet and health.

There are still major concerns...

With over 2 million cars on our roads, EVs still only make up less than 1% of our vehicles.

Despite these grants and low running costs, we’re still trailing behind some of our neighbouring European countries such as Norway, where electric cars make up 52% of new car sales (Reuters).

Why are we still behind other countries?

We’re worried they’ll run out of battery

With charging a car, a relatively new concept, EVs running out of battery is understandably a concern.

The Green News reported that a Green Party and the Irish Electric Vehicle Owners Association study found ‘38 per cent of electric vehicle drivers find the lack of public charging stations as the greatest difficulty of using an electric vehicle’. 1 in 10 said they’ve run out battery on the roads and suggested ‘increased number of chargers available across more locations, particularly petrol stations and motorway routes’.

Despite this feeling, there are approximately 1,100 public charge points nationally, with fast charge points every 50km on major inter-urban routes. Plus, electric cars are set to significantly improve their range distances over the next few years, reducing any problems with finding an available charge point.

Find your current nearest charging stations here.

We need a wider range to choose from

Compared to standard car models, there are a substantially lower amount of electric vehicle makes to choose from.

Although electric cars are cheaper to run, the upfront costs of buying a new electric car remain very high, due to a lack of choice on the market.

However, the future is bright. The Irish EV Owners Association state that more models are regularly being released. With electric cars on the increase, the demand will encourage new models to the market - lowering the costs and providing more options. Plus, significantly cheaper second hand vehicles will become available.

With many leading companies, such as BMW, vowing to convert their fleet to electric, there’ll be lower cost new options too and hopefully a surge in electric car drivers.

Will Ireland follow the electric car revolution?

While more needs to be done to bring the cost of vehicles down and increase the range of electric cars, we can see steps are being taken towards a greater adoption on the Irish roads.

The Irish government, through grants and incentives, are encouraging everyone to switch to eco-friendly electric vehicles. These are huge strides in the right direction to catching up with our Norwegian friends and protecting our planet.