SEAI is calling on motorists in the market for a new, or used, car to seriously consider ‘going electric’ and making the change to an electric vehicle (EV). Private cars, running on petrol and diesel, account for around a fifth of Ireland’s total energy use and the related carbon dioxide emissions, one of the major contributors to climate change. EVs are fast becoming the preferred choice for many families and businesses, who want to play their part in urgent national climate action.
Declan Meally, Director of Business, Public Sector and Transport at SEAI said, “of course, to reduce your carbon footprint, everyone should first consider if a journey in a car is necessary – can I use public transport or walk or cycle? But if you must use a car you really need to consider the car you drive and how you drive it. When buying a car some people feel an EV is too expensive until they do the maths on exactly how much they will save in running costs and we urge all consumers to take this into consideration.”
There are now almost 47,000 EVs on Ireland’s roads, over 16,000 of them purchased this year alone, the shift to electric is well and truly underway. Electric cars are more affordable to run with a 74% reduction in annual energy costs and new buyers can benefit from incentives such as grants and lower VRT rates that reduce the purchase price as well discounts on tolls.
There are new EV models coming to the market, and growing availability of used EVs, meaning there are more options available than ever before, one to suit everyone. SEAI provides an EV comparison tool for those who are looking to find out more about the annual running costs and cost of ownership for EVs that are also eligible for grants at the time of purchase.
Over 80% of EV charging is done at home where the user can normally avail of cheaper night rate electricity. SEAI provides grants for homes chargers and has funded the installation of over 12,000 EV chargers to date. In addition to this, there are more than 1,200 public and destination EV charge points available around the country, with more being introduced all the time.
Encouraging motorists to make the switch Declan Meally continued, “if you’re thinking about changing your car next year, then make sure you test drive an EV first. You’ll be very surprised at the great driving experience. There are now EVs to suit most driving needs, they will save you money and they are helping to change Ireland’s energy use for the better. The number of EVs in Ireland has been doubling year on year, and this needs to continue to meet the 2030 climate targets.”
It is not only the environment that benefits as electric cars reduce harmful pollutants that have seriously impact our health. With so many benefits for both the environment and your pocket, driving an electric car makes sense.
The only exceptions where an EV may not be suitable is for those who don’t have off street parking or who drive very long distances every day although the distance range is increasing as new EV models come to the market, many now offering 500km+ range on a single charge.