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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND CHARGERS.

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Q. What is an electric vehicle?

Electric vehicles (EVs) run on electricity instead of petrol or diesel. They have larger batteries, can recover energy while running, don’t require a clutch or gearbox, are quieter, and typically have higher initial costs than similar petrol or diesel vehicles.

Q. What’s the difference between EV, PHEV, HEV, and MHEV?

EV: electric vehicle, runs solely on electricity.
PHEV: plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, that uses both petrol and electricity.
HEV: self-charging hybrid electric vehicle, powered by petrol and electricity but doesn’t require external charging.
MHEV: mild hybrid electric vehicle, similar to HEVs but with minimal electric power assistance.

Q. What are the advantages of electric vehicles?

Advantages include being cheaper to charge, more energy-efficient, quicker response, easier refuelling (at home), quieter operation, and being environmentally friendlier.

Q. What are the disadvantages of electric vehicles?

Disadvantages include being too quiet (a potential hazard to pedestrians), “range anxiety” (worrying about battery life), shorter driving ranges in some models, longer refuelling time compared to petrol vehicles, and expensive batteries affecting resale value.

Q. What should I consider before buying an electric car?

Consider your daily vehicle usage, average driving distance, charging time, and the availability of charging stations in your area. The vehicle’s range and charging options are crucial factors.

Q. How can I charge an electric car?

You can charge an EV at home, at work (if available), or at public charging stations. Ireland has almost 1,100 public EV charge points. Charging at home is often cheaper and more convenient.

Q. Can I plug my electric car into a normal household outlet?

While technically possible, it’s not recommended for safety reasons and because it takes longer to charge.

Q. What are the best electric cars in Ireland for 2023?

Popular models include the Jaguar i-pace, Audi Q4 e-tron, Nissan Leaf e+, BMW IX, Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq, and Tesla Model 3​.

Q. What are the cheapest electric cars in Ireland for 2023?

Affordable options include Renault Zoe, Citroen C4, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona 39, and Toyota Yaris.

Q. Where can I buy an electric car in Ireland?

You can purchase electric cars from established car dealerships or explore second-hand options on websites like Cars Ireland, Car Zone, Windsor, and Done Deal.

Q. Are there grants available to buy an electric car in Ireland?

There are specific grants and incentives available in Ireland for electric vehicle owners:

electric vehicle grants: up to €3,500 for new battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs)​​.
Home charging grants: up to €600 towards the installation costs of a home charger reducing to €300 from 01/01/2024.
Motor tax: the annual motor tax rate for a battery electric vehicle is €120, the lowest tax band for motor tax.
These incentives make owning an EV in Ireland more attractive and financially viable.

Q: What is the cost efficiency of electric vehicles compared to diesel engines?

A: Electric vehicles (EVs) offer significant cost savings, running at about 20% of the cost of a similar-sized diesel engine. This is visually represented by a cost comparison graph that highlights the economic advantages of EVS.

Q: How do electric vehicles perform in terms of range capability?

A: Modern electric vehicles, including cars, vans, and buses, are capable of achieving over 200km on a single charge, making them suitable for a variety of uses, from personal commuting to being part of a busy fleet.

Q: What savings on maintenance can be expected with electric vehicles?

A: Electric vehicles are known for their low maintenance requirements, particularly in terms of brake system longevity. It’s not unusual for EVs to operate over 100,000km on the original brake pads, offering substantial savings.

Q: What kind of diversity is available in electric vehicle fleets?

A: Fleet managers have a wide range of options when selecting electric vehicles. The EV market offers a diverse array of vehicles, including cars, vans, and buses, catering to different fleet needs.

Q: Can you explain the transmission simplicity in electric vehicles?

A: Electric vehicles feature automatic transmissions, which are simpler and more reliable than traditional manual transmissions with a clutch and gearbox. This translates into fewer mechanical issues and cost savings for urban fleets.

Q: How do electric vehicles reduce carbon footprint?

A: Electric vehicles contribute significantly to carbon footprint reduction. They emit far less CO2 compared to traditional vehicles, showcasing a noticeable difference in carbon emissions that benefits the environment.

Q: What is the impact of electric vehicles on noise pollution?

A: Electric vehicles are much quieter, especially at low speeds, reducing noise pollution in urban environments. This makes EVs an environmentally friendly choice in cityscapes.

Q: What business benefits do electric vehicles offer?

A: For businesses, electric vehicles present numerous advantages, including lower operational costs, a positive brand image due to environmental consciousness, and significant reductions in emissions.

Q: Are there any tips for transitioning a fleet to electric vehicles?

A: Transitioning to an electric fleet can be streamlined by following certain tips and best practices, often symbolized by specific icons and guides. These include planning for charging infrastructure and understanding the total cost of ownership.

Q: What financial support is available for transitioning to electric vehicles?

A: Various grants and financial support are available to assist businesses in transitioning to electric vehicles. These incentives are designed to make the switch more affordable and viable.

Q: Can businesses trial electric vehicles in their fleet?

A: Yes, businesses can register for electric vehicle fleet trials. These trials allow companies to experience firsthand how an EV can integrate into their operations, showcasing cost savings and emission reductions.

Q: How do electric vehicles compare in costs and emissions to petrol and diesel vehicles?

A: Comparisons between electric, petrol, and diesel vehicles show that EVs offer significant annual savings in both costs and emissions. This is typically illustrated through comparison charts or graphs, highlighting the long-term benefits of electric vehicles.

Q. Why do Irish EV owners often prefer charging at home?

In Ireland, over 80% of EV charging occurs at home, largely due to historical shortages of public EV chargers. As more Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) is installed in communities and workplaces, this may shift. Nonetheless, many Irish EV owners appreciate the convenience, control, and cost-effectiveness of home charging.

Q. What public EV charging options are available in Ireland?

In Ireland, public EV charging stations are typically Level 2 or Level 3 DC Fast Chargers (DCFC). Level 2 chargers provide alternating current (AC) that the vehicle’s on-board charger converts to direct current (DC) for battery charging. DC Fast Chargers, however, directly supply DC power to the EV battery, bypassing the on-board charger.

Q. Can DC fast charging harm my EV battery?

Frequent use of DC fast charging can affect the performance and lifespan of EV batteries. For instance, eight years of regular fast charging might reduce the battery life by about 10%. While DCFC is convenient and sometimes necessary, it’s advisable to use it sparingly.

Q. Can I use any public EV charger in Ireland?

With Level 2 chargers, any public EV charger in Ireland is generally compatible, as they all use or offer an adaptor for the standard SAE J1772 connector. Level 3 DC Fast Chargers usually have either a CHAdeMO or CCS connector, which are not interchangeable. However, many EVs are equipped with ports for both types. Tesla previously had a unique connector for Level 3, but their superchargers are now adaptable to various models. Always check your EV’s connector type (most EVs, except Nissan and Mitsubishi, use CCS).

Q. How do I find a public EV charger in Ireland?

Locating a public EV charger in Ireland is increasingly straightforward. Most public EV charging networks offer apps showing station locations. Thanks to the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), these networks share information, allowing users to see chargers from various providers without needing multiple apps. Additionally, public EV chargers are often listed on navigation platforms like Google Maps.

Q. How long does it take to charge an EV publicly in Ireland?

The charging time depends on the charger type. Level 2 chargers, commonly found in local areas and workplaces, typically add about 15 to 30 miles of range per hour. DC Fast Chargers, more prevalent along motorways, can charge an EV in about 30 minutes. However, public EV charging generally takes longer than refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Q. What are the costs of public EV charging in Ireland?

Charging costs vary based on the charger type, time of use, and pricing model. Public EV charging can involve monthly subscriptions, pay-as-you-go, or a mix of both. Using a DC Fast Charger might cost approximately €15-30 for a full charge. EV charging is generally cheaper than petrol or diesel and becomes even more economical with lower-level chargers.

Q. Will my EV battery run out before finding a charger in Ireland?

If you’ve managed to avoid running out of petrol, you’re unlikely to deplete your EV battery. EVs provide low battery warnings and display nearby charging stations. If the battery level continues to drop, the EV may increase regenerative braking to extend battery life.

Q. Is it feasible to take an EV on a road trip in Ireland?

Absolutely! With a growing number of EVSE across Ireland, road trips are increasingly EV-friendly. Planning your route to include EV charger stops is key. Remember, charging an EV takes longer than a traditional fuel stop, so align charging times with meals or breaks.

Q. Are there any recommended practices for public EV charging in Ireland?

Certainly! Aim to keep your EV battery between 25% and 75% for optimal health. Charging speed is influenced by several factors, including the vehicle’s charging rate, battery size, current battery level, and environmental conditions like temperature.

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