Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that electric or hybrid vehicles accounted for 10% of Irish car sales as of October 2019. This is a 157% increase on the previous year.
By the end of 2020 the Irish government are hoping that 10% of all vehicles on Irish roads are electric. This would mean having approximately 230,000 electric vehicles on the road. The government has also set the target of ending the sale of cars solely powered by fossil fuels by 2030.
Do you have questions about electric cars? You are not the only one. We asked our customers about all things alternatively fuelled cars and discovered there were lots of queries to clear up:
One quarter of of AIG customers surveyed said that they did not know the difference between a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and an electric car. What are the main differences between the three options?
Hybrid cars depend on two sources for power: electric and gas. They use far less fuel than a fully gas-powered vehicle thanks to the electric battery pack. The electric power maximises the energy lost during braking and charges automatically while the vehicle is moving.
Sometimes referred to as PHEVs, these cars have the same system as hybrid cars but contain much larger electric batteries. These batteries are charged by plug and the increased size allows the car to rely on electric power alone for up to 60km depending on the vehicle.
Electric cars do not have a backup engine that is powered by gas fuel, they run on 100% electric energy from the electric battery system. The lack of engine frees up space for more batteries in allowing you to drive further on electric power than with a hybrid car. Electric cars are also charged by plug.
Tip: Find out if an electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle is the correct one for you here.
One third of customers said that a longer range/battery life is needed to convince people to purchase an electric vehicle.
Most electric cars are currently capable of travelling around 100 KMs before needing to be recharged. There are charging points all over the country and wider Europe with more stations being added in the coming year. The vehicles will provide drivers with plenty of warning as the battery begins to run out.
One third of AIG customers taking part in the survey said that cost is a barrier preventing people from getting an electric vehicle.
Though presumed to cost more than a conventional, gas powered car, there are grants available to help drivers purchase an electric vehicle. It’s estimated that electric cars cost between 15 to 50% more than gas-powered cars but after the government grant is applied, the price compares better. As electric cars are relatively new, it is harder to buy one second hand to save money as is commonly done with fuel powered cars.
A grant of up to €5,000 is available towards the cost of buying an electric car for private cars. Up to €3,800 is available for commercial vehicles. The max grant of €5,000 is payable on approved electric vehicles priced at €20,000 or more. Smaller grants can be obtained on lower value cars but vehicles costing less than €14,000 do not qualify for a grant. The grant is only available on new vehicles bought from an approved dealer who handles the grant application and deducts the grant total from the cost of the car.
There is also a grant of €600 that can be claimed by electric car owners to help with the cost of installing a home charging system.
Tip: more reasons to drive an electric car can be found here.
Electric vehicle sales are set to rise again in 2020 as more car manufacturers offer electric models and more people choose to drive an environmentally-friendly vehicle.
Whether you’re driving a fuel powered car or an electric one, get an online car insurance quote in minutes with AIG and enjoy free benefits such as breakdown assistance, driving of other vehicles and step back bonus protection.