Whether you have recently made the switch to an EV or are considering an EV, learn about the basics of charging and the supports available to you.

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SEAI and the Irish Electric Vehicle Associataion (IEVA) have created a short leaflet to help you get started on what you need to know to charge an EV.
More details are contained in this webpage.

How to charge your EV

Before driving an EV, make sure you know:

  • Where the charging ports are
  • How to open the charging ports
  • The difference between AC and DC
  • There is an AC charging cable in the car

Typically, an electric vehicle can charge between 7 and 22kW on an AC (Alternating Current) and up to 350 kW on a DC (Direct Current). AC charging is typically slower than DC charging and is commonly used for home/work charging or at destination locations where longer charging times are acceptable.

You can ask the dealer or person you acquire the vehicle from for a charging breakdown which will include these basics.

Charging capabilities

Charging capabilities can vary among different EV models and partly determine the speed you can charge at.

  • The charging process will be limited to the maximum capacity supported by your vehicle.
  • If your EV has a maximum capacity of 50kW, on a DC charger the charger will automatically ensure the charging does not exceed 50kW, even when the charging station is able to do more than that.
  • To determine the charging capability of your electric vehicle in kilowatts (kW), check with your dealer or check the owner’s manual for the specification on your car. (If your EV battery is nearly fully charged, the max charging speed of the car may be lower.)

Standard Charger Ports

Know the different charging ports for AC and DC

Home/Domestic charging

This is the cheapest way to charge your vehicle.

  •  A home charger can deliver a max 7.4kW AC power.
  • A typical home charger and installation will cost somewhere between €1,200 - €1,600. ZEVI grants are available towards the cost.

There are several EV home charger providers to choose from.  The installation can only be performed by a SAFE electric registered installer. Search for your local supplier online. They will first assess your property and help you to decide on the best location to mount it.

The charger can be mounted on :

  • A boundary wall in your driveway
  • The house wall
  • A pedestal

Key things to consider when deciding a location for the charger:

  • The distance to your car
  • The location of your fuse board

Long distances between the fuse board and the charger can result in a more expensive installation.

SEAI offer a grant on behalf of Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI) with a value of €300 towards the purchase and installation of an EV home charger. Find out more about the grant and your eligibility here.

Grants are also available to support the installation of chargers in Apartment and Multi Unit Dwellings.

Electric Vehicle Charging Grants

The cost of charging an electric car at home depends on several factors, including:

  • The electricity rate (how much does it cost to charge per kWh).
  • The charging efficiency of your car (how much energy is lost when charging).
  • The energy consumption efficiency of your car (how many kWh are used for a given distance, i.e. kWh/100km)

Check with your energy provider for different time of use tariffs for the most cost efficient fit for your energy use. Most providers offer lower residential electricity rates during off-peak hours through time-of-use pricing. Your electric vehicle might have a timer fitted where it can be programmed to charge over night to avail of the best electricity rate.

SEAI has a fuel price comparison page, where you can find more information on how much it will cost to charge your EV.

Fuel Price Comparison

Public charging

There are over 2,500 (and growing) charging stations on the island of Ireland operated by various operators. These consist both of AC (standard 22kW) chargers and DC (25 to 350+ kW) chargers.

When trying to identify charging locations you can either use:

  • The onboard car navigation.
  • An app. Many different apps are available, and a quick online search will direct you to them. Examples are PlugShare or A Better Route Planner which include all operators, but even common navigation apps are beginning to add EV charging options. Most charging providers also have maps within their apps.

Both options will allow you to locate the charging stations nearest to you or along the route.

Charging time and cost

Many providers offer DC fast charge points; these  are usually located on motorways. At these stops you can charge up to 80% within 30mins if your vehicle has sufficient fast charge capability. While AC charging, at 7kW, can add 100km in approximately 2hrs.

Pricing varies from each provider depending on the amount of power and time consumed. Generally:

  • High speed charging is significantly more expensive.
  • Signing up for monthly rates can reduce your charge price whilst on the go.
  • Make sure to register with the providers you plan to use.
  • Payment options vary between providers. For instance, some providers issue activation cards or fobs whilst others have contactless payment options.

Considerations when charging your EV

  • There is usually an overstay fee on DC chargers after 45 minutes, and some AC chargers after 10 hours on the public network.
  • A good rule of thumb on DC chargers is to charge to around 80%. After this your charging speed will slow down significantly. The final 20% could take as long as the 80% charge.
  • In most locations, you must pay for parking  when you are charging your vehicle. Check signage for parking charges.