Energy

Electric car charging in Ireland

Unlock the potential of your electric vehicle with our home charging guide. Learn about costs and savings, EV charger installation, and choosing the right charger.

Owning an electric vehicle in Ireland

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in Ireland have reached 22,629 so far this year, up 45% from 15,590 in 2022.

Fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids have a 46% share in the current car market, and it continues to grow each year. There are now over 50,000 EVs on the road in Ireland.

The Government is continuing to support EV take-up with grants and tax incentives.

Charging your electric vehicle at home

Whether you’ve bought the latest Tesla Model S or opted for a more budget-friendly Smart EQ ForTwo there are several important things you’ll need to consider before installing a home charger.

They include:

  • charging equipment costs
  • installation costs
  • type of charger required
  • locations for your wall box
  • electricity tariffs for EV owners

If you’re unsure where to start, talk to a qualified electrician or reputable EV installer who can help you choose the most suitable option for your needs.

What charging equipment is needed?

To charge an electric car at home, you need to have a home charging point installed close to where you park your vehicle. A couple of options are available, which are either wall-mounted or portable.

Wall-mounted charging points

Wall-mounted charging stations, also known as wall boxes, are the most popular home charging options. These units are fixed to a wall or post and provide a dedicated charging point for your electric vehicle.

  • Speed: Wall box charging capacity ranges from slower units at 3.7kW to faster units at 7kW or higher; prices reflect their charging capacity. A 7kW charger takes around 8 hours to charge an EV from empty to full.
  • Features: They typically have a Type 2 (Mennekes) connector, compatible with most electric vehicles in Ireland and often have extra features like energy monitoring and scheduling capabilities.

Portable charging cables

Portable charging cables, also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) or charging leads, are another at-home option.

These cables allow you to connect your car to a standard electrical outlet. One end attaches to your vehicle, and the other end has a plug that fits into a standard domestic socket.

  • Speed: They provide slower charging speeds than wall-mounted units, ranging from 2.3 kW to 3.7 kW and can take around 16 hours to fully charge a typical EV.
  • Features: Portable charging cables are an affordable and flexible option but are more suited to occasional or emergency charging needs.

Types of electric car chargers

One of the most important considerations for electric car users is how quickly and cost-effectively you can power up your vehicle.

Usually, EV chargers in Ireland come with three different kWh power ratings, although rapid chargers are typically only available on travel routes.

  • Slow chargers (AC Level 2): These chargers provide a charging power up to 7kW and typically use a Type 2 (Mennekes) connector. Most homes can deliver a maximum of 7.4kW. They’re suitable for overnight home charging or long-stay parking.
  • Fast chargers (AC Level 3): Fast chargers are typically found in public areas, shopping centres, and on travel routes. They offer charging power up to 22 kW. Fast chargers allow for quicker charging sessions, ideal for topping up whilst shopping or workplace charging.
  • Rapid chargers (DC Level 3): This type is the fastest charging option, ideal for quick top-ups and long-distance journeys. Often found on travel routes, they use Direct Current (DC) rather than AC, enabling charging of 50 kW or higher.

How long does it take to charge an EV at home?

Think of your electric car like a mobile phone; give it the main charge overnight while you’re sleeping and top up on the go if you need to.

Depending on the model of the car and the type of connector it could take you anywhere between 4 and 22 hours to charge your car at home. Typically you can fill your EV from empty to full within 8 hours.

More powerful cars with greater ranges take the longest, and the cheaper, smaller models are the fastest.

electric car charging at home

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Electric vehicles are around 60% cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles.

EV drivers may pay between €7.00 and €30.00 to fully charge their EV at home on a standard tariff, depending on the make and model of the car.

Based on a 45kWh useable battery size, it’ll cost on average €17.50 to charge an EV from full to empty on a standard electricity tariff. However, switching to a time-of-use tariff and charging an EV overnight will halve the cost to around €9.00.

For the best savings, shop around for a supplier that offers tariffs designed for electric car drivers or smart plans that offer cheaper night rates.

What kind of EV tariffs are available for car charging?

Despite the current energy crisis, the good news is that you don’t have to pay sky-high prices to charge your electric car. Some suppliers offer incentives to charge your car within specific time bands when electricity is cheapest.

As electric motoring becomes more widespread and the government encourages motorists to go electric, more tariffs are coming on the market.

Here’s some of the EV-friendly plans available in Ireland:

Supplier Plan Off-peak night rates per kWh EV or Night Boost rates per kWh  
Bord Gáis Urban EV Smart 23.87c 8.07c (2am - 5am)  
Energia Energia Smart Drive 18.95c 8.15c (2am - 6am)  
Electric Ireland Home Dual+ Night Boost 17.26c 10.13c (2am - 4am)  
Pinergy EV Drive Time 31.48c 5.45c (2am - 5am)  
SSE Airtricity Smart Night Boost 20.98c 8.10c (2am - 5am)  
  • Rates are based on a supplier’s discounted rates (inc VAT), fixed for 12 months.

If you don’t want to change supplier, consider switching your plan to get a better rate with time-of-use options.

Smart meter plans often come with an app so you can choose when to charge your car and view your usage data. This allows you to be in control of spending and save money on future bills.

You could save hundreds of euros a year by charging an electric car on the right discounted tariff instead of staying on your standard variable rate plan.

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How much do car chargers cost to install?

The cost of installing a car charger in Ireland can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • the type of charger
  • the location of the charging point
  • any additional electrical work required

The installation of a home charging point can range from around €1,000 to €1,800 with an average cost of €1,300.

To get an accurate estimate, contact several installers or local electricians who can provide you with a detailed quote based on your requirements.

Government grants up to €600 are on offer to install a home charger unit for new and second-hand BEVs or PHEVs; however, this will be reduced to €300 from 1 January 2024.

Pros and cons of charging your EV at home

Although there are lots of advantages to installing a home charger, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are the pros and cons of charging your EV at home.

Pros

  • Saves money: It’s often cheaper compared to using public charging stations and you can take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.
  • Convenient and time-saving: A home charging station allows you to charge your electric vehicle (EV) at home when it suits you and saves time by avoiding trips to public charging stations.
  • Flexibility: With a home charging station, you have more control over the charging process. You can choose the charging speed and adjust it according to your needs.
  • Battery health: It can be beneficial for the long-term health of your EV’s battery, as slower charging rates can reduce battery degradation and extend its lifespan.

Cons

  • Upfront costs: Installing a home charging station involves initial costs although there may be government incentives available to offset the price of installation.
  • Installation challenges: Installing a charging station may require additional costs, as well as professional, electrical work and approval from your local authority to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
  • Limited range: It’s great for daily commuting and regular driving needs; however, if you plan to take longer trips you may need to consider additional charging options, such as public fast-charging stations.
  • Trickier for tenants: Home charging is primarily aimed at homeowners or those with access to private parking spaces. If you live in an apartment or your own parking space, it may be challenging to set up a home charging station.

Tips for successful home charge installation

Installing an EV charger at home involves several factors that need careful consideration.

  • Charger compatibility: Choose an EV charger that is compatible with your vehicle and ensure that the charger has the appropriate connectors.
  • Electrical capacity: Ensure that your home’s electrical system has sufficient capacity to support an EV charger. Most home capacity is about 14kWh, so with the average charger needing 7kWh, most homes will be fine unless other electrical equipment demands a lot of power.
  • Permissions and regulations: Check with your local planning department to see if there are any specific permits or regulations for installing an EV charger at home. A licenced EV installer or electrician should be able to advise.
  • Your premises: You’ll need a driveway, garage or outside space to park your car. Charging points cannot be installed on the roadside due to planning restrictions. If you rent a property or serviced apartment, consider contacting the landlord to see if they will allow charging points in the parking area.
  • Location of wall box: EV chargers are often installed on an exterior wall near a parking space or in a garage. Consider how you’ll access it, maintain it and protect it from the elements.

Make sure you hire a qualified, licenced electrician with experience installing EV chargers. They can assess your specific situation, provide guidance on the requirements, and ensure a safe and compliant installation.

Where can you buy home charging equipment?

In Ireland, electric vehicle (EV) home charging equipment is available from outlets online and in-store.

Some energy suppliers have partnered with car manufacturers to provide free home charge points and may offer a discounted EV home charger installation service.

Here are some popular options:

  • EVBox: EVBox offers a range of home charging solutions, including wall-mounted charging stations. Their products are known for their reliability and user-friendly features.
  • Pod Point: Pod Point provides smart home charging units with features like smartphone connectivity and energy monitoring. They offer both tethered and untethered options to suit different EV models.
  • EO Charging: EO Charging offers compact home charging equipment with customisable features.
  • MyEnergi: MyEnergi manufactures home charging units such as the Zappi, which has the ability to utilise surplus renewable energy from solar panels to charge your EV.

These are just a few examples; other brands are also available in Ireland. Research your options, compare prices, and check customer reviews to find the best charging equipment to suit your EV and budget.

Popular questions

Is home charging cheaper than public charging?

Although you’ll need to pay more upfront for equipment and installation, the charging cost will be lower compared to charging your EV at a public station.

Public charging points are often quicker but cost up to 60% more, especially for rapid DC charging. There may still be some free charging points around the country, but supermarkets have started to introduce pricing. Apps like Plugshare and eStation have up-to-date information and locations of public charging points.

Once set up, charging your electric vehicle at home is the most cost-effective way, and you can make it even cheaper by signing up for an electricity plan designed for EVs.

Where can I find public charging stations in Ireland?

There are several websites and mobile apps listing charging stations in Ireland. Here’s a couple to try.

Are there any grants available for EV home charger installation?

Yes, the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant is a government-funded support scheme to help homeowners install an electric vehicle charge unit on their premises.

The grant provides €600 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger point. The grant will be reduced to €300 from 1 January 2024.

The grant is now open to all homeowners whether they own an electric vehicle or not, so that visitors or tenants can use a charging point in rental accommodation.

You must use a Safe Electric Registered Electrical Contractor to qualify for payment.

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