Top 7 Benefits of Driving an Electric Car in Ireland

We all know that driving an electric car is better for the environment but there are a host of other benefits associated with eCars. They’re cheaper to run, there are grants available for buying and taxing them and you’ll no longer need to spend a fortune on petrol or diesel at the petrol station. In November 2021, the government updated the Climate Action Plan to react to the threat of climate change. In this plan, the government outlined how it is aiming to accelerate the pace of EV (Electric Vehicle) uptake, to reach almost 1 million EVs in the private transport fleet by 2030! If all of that hasn’t convinced you already, here’s a list of the top benefits of electric cars.

1. Grants for electric cars in Ireland

The Irish government offers grants to people who are purchasing electric cars as an incentive to encourage more drivers to ditch fossil-fuelled vehicles. Buyers can avail of a grant up to €5,000 towards the cost of an electric vehicle with a cost of €20,000 or more. Smaller grants are available for cheaper vehicles but any electric vehicle costing less than €14,000 does not qualify for a grant.

EV owners can also claim a €600 grant to help cover the cost of purchasing and installing a charging point at their home and up to €5,000 VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) relief. The government also provides cheaper toll booth crossings to electric car drivers and they enjoy the lowest rate of motor tax at €120 per annum.

2. How far can an electric car travel?

Electric vehicles are powered by rechargeable batteries. Drivers who cover long distances regularly should consider an electric car with a bigger battery which, of course, comes with a bigger price tag.

Factors that influence how far an electric car can travel:

1. Size of the battery

2. Battery capacity

3. Driving habits

4. Weather

5. Type of EV

With that considered, a typical electric vehicle can travel further on a single charge than the distance most people cover per day in Ireland. Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland advises:

• Typical EV ranges go from 100km up to 500km

• 80% of car journeys in Ireland cover distances of 20km or under

• Most EV charging is done at home

• There is a nationwide charging network eCars Charge Point Map

There are currently 1,000 public charging points in Ireland. A fast public charger will charge an EV up to 80% in just one hour.

See our recommended cars for commuters.

3. Electric cars are cheaper to run

There are many ways to save money by switching to an electric car:

1. Government grants

2. Cheapest rate of motor tax at €120 per year

3. No more buying petrol or diesel

4. Overnight charging at a home charging point costs on average €3 a night

5. Discounts on tolls

Read now:  Are Electric Cars Cheaper to Insure?

4. Toll discounts for eCar drivers in Ireland

The Irish government introduced an incentive for drivers of eCars in the form of toll discounts. Electric car owners can save up to €500 on toll charges on the M50 and other major motorways.

On the M50, fully electric cars can avail of half-price tolls during peak traffic hours and a 75% discount during off-peak hours. The current M50 toll charge for drivers with electronic tags is €2.10, which means eCar drivers will be charged just €1.05.

5. Electric cars are kinder to the environment

Road transport emissions have been identified as one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 39% of all Irish emissions. Switching to an electric vehicle is a vital step towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving the air quality in our towns and cities and to meet our EU emission targets. It is proven that these emissions contribute to climate change. Electric cars are part of the solution for our emissions problem.

The batteries in eCars are a big factor in providing the solution to moving to renewable energy sources. Storing the energy created by renewable sources has been an issue since the introduction of wind farms. But by using smart energy technologies, we can match our energy consumption to the availability of renewable energy sources. The electric vehicle battery is a great example of how we can store that energy until we are ready to use it, helping to solve the issue of energy waste.

An added benefit is the reduction of noise pollution. When driving an EV you will immediately notice that they are almost silent. Especially when you compare them to traditional cars with internal combustion engines. If you live on a busy road and suffer from noise pollution, this will decrease dramatically as more drivers switch to an EV.

6. Recharging Your Electric car at Home

The main questions people have are: how long does it take and how much does it cost to charge an electric car? Well, the good news is that charging your EV at home is cost efficient, simple and fast. With the home charger grant scheme you can install a compact, all-weather home charging unit outside your house and the government will provide support towards the full cost of installation up to a maximum of €600.

Once installed, you’ll be able to charge your EV by simply plugging in the charging cable once your car is parked. It’s as simple as charging your mobile phone. Using a 7kW home charging port, most EVs can charge to full capacity in around 5 - 10 hours. Rapid chargers can speed up the process even more, charging most cars to about 80% in under an hour.

7. Electric cars are better for your health

Some of the nasty emissions produced by cars with internal combustion engines can contribute to a number of respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis and other diseases. Exhaust fumes from both petrol and diesel vehicles can also cause damage to your lungs. Electric cars produce no emissions, so switching to an EV is kinder to the environment and your health.

If an electric car isn’t an option for you right now there are other ways to save fuel with your car in the meantime.

Whatever type of car you’re driving 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.

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