Interested in making the switch to an electric car? Forget about the bland Nissan Leaf – electric vehicle (EV) pioneer Tesla has come to town. The Model S (saloon) and Model X (SUV) are now on sale in Ireland, retailing at €81,086 and €110,042 respectively. Perhaps it’s a little much – the Leaf will set you back a much more manageable €21,490, while the Renault Zoe retails from €17,489.
But there are savings to be made by making the switch, not to mention Government incentives. The main sweetener comes in the form of a grant from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) – up to €5,000 for an EV or plug in hybrid EV (PHEV), depending on the cost. The dealership will apply for the grant on your behalf and it’s taken off the price you pay on the forecourt. VRT relief is also available – up to €5,000 for EVs, €2,500 for PHEVs and €1,500 for ordinary hybrids. So, depending on your purchase, you could save a total of €10,000.
And, if you do a little forward thinking, you can eliminate your fuel bill by using the public charge points dotted around the country (which can be located through the ESB’s ecar connect app available on Android and iOS) – although charges were due to be introduced from January 2017, this has been put on hold to give EV and hybrid sales a boost. “Charging is free at any one of the 1,500 ESB charging points around the country. I spoke to a taxi driver recently and he told me that he has reduced his fuel costs to practically zero since switching over to an electric vehicle. He drives 54,000 kilometres a year and the saving to him is enormous,” the SEAI’s Declan Meally recently told The Irish Times.
Measures already in place in other countries could also be introduced in Ireland in the near future. The Norwegian model is under consideration at present – EV owners could take advantage of no tax or VAT, free tolls and free public parking. They’ve certainly proved successful in Norway – the Scandinavian country has seen EV sales of around 48,000 in recent years.
For more information on electric vehicle ownership in Ireland, see www.irishevowners.ie.