Electric Cars in Ireland – Some Facts and Figures

How Many Electric Vehicles are there in Ireland?

  • BEVs – are Battery Electric Vehicles.
  • PHEVs – are Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

According to the SEAI, at the end of March 2023 – there were “over 76,000” electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, on the road in Ireland.

How Many fully electric vehicles are there in Ireland?

We estimate there were about 34,000 Electric cars registered in Ireland (not including hybrids) as of January 2023.

15678 electric cars were registered in 2022 This is equivalent to about 15% of all new car registrations (105,253)

This is an 86% increase on the 8646 electric cars that were registered in 2021
(Figures do not include hybrids)

Growth of electric car sales continues in 2023. Overall – new car registrations of all types were up by 9.9 per cent in February 2023 compared to Feb 2022. However, the number of EVs registered in February 2023 rose almost 4 times as much (37.5 per cent rise).

Electric Vehicle Targets for Ireland

The government currently has a target that there will be 945,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030 with 845,000 of these being private passenger cars . This includes battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs but not Petrol/Diesel hybrids) . This will be equivalent to one-third of the 2.8 million vehicles that are currently on the road in Ireland. It is a high target to hit .
Ireland had set itself the target of ending the sale of cars powered just by fossil fuels by 2030.
The EU has set a date of 2035 for the end of the sale of fossil fuel cars – Ireland will have to fall in line with this target.

The Climate Action Plan (June 2019) proposes more incentives for people willing to transfer to Electric Vehicles, including a possible car-scrappage scheme to replace the current EV grants. The action plan aims to have a charging network capable of catering for 800,000 EVs in place by 2030.

Most Popular Electric Cars in Ireland

Based on new vehicle sales in 2022 – these were the five most popular new Electric Vehicles in Ireland in 2022

  1. VW ID 4
  2. Hyundai Ioniq 5
  3. Tesla Model 3
  4. Kia EV6
  5. VW id 3

The popularity of Electric vehicles in Ireland is growing – but maybe not as fast as the government hopes. This could be because people are concerned about limits on driving distances, the initial purchase cost and the perceived inconvenience  (and potential cost) of charging the battery.
The availability of reliable, working charging stations for longer journeys is also an issue.

Here are some facts and figures about electric cars.

Grants for Electric Cars

There is currently an SEAI grant available of up to €5000 towards the cost of buying a battery-electric car. (For commercial vehicles the maximum grant is €3800.)  The maximum grant of €5000 is payable on approved vehicles priced at €20,000 or more. Smaller grants are payable on lower-value vehicles. Vehicles priced lower than €14000 do not qualify for a grant. Many dealers display prices after deducting the grant.

Please note that SEAI grants are not available for second-hand EVs.

This grant is being reduced gradually over the next few years – with the maximum grant going down to €3500 from July 1st 2023 . There will be further decreases after that.

Changes to EV Grants From July 2023

List price of approved EVGrant before July 1st 2023Grant from 1 July 2023
€14,000 to €15,000€2,000€2,000
€15,000 to €16,000€2,500€2,500
€16,000 to €17,000€3,000€3,000
€17,000 to €18,000€3,500€3,500
€18,000 to €19,000€4,000€3,500
€19,000 to €20,000€4,500€3,500
€20,000 to €60,000€5,000€3,500

Only new vehicles bought from an approved dealer can qualify for the grants. There are about 110 approved dealers and they handle the grant applications and deduct the grant from the price of the car.
Grants are not payable on cars priced at over €60,000.

Home Charger Grants

There is also a €600 grant available to help cover the purchase and installation of home charger systems. (You don’t have to own an electric car to qualify for this grant.)

More information here about the Cost of Home Charging Points

Electric vehicle grants for taxis, hackneys, and limousines (SPSV)

If you are a driver of a small public service vehicle (SPSV), you can get a grant of up to €10,000 to buy a full battery PSV, with an additional €2,500 available for models that are wheelchair accessible.
Smaller grants are also available for second-hand vehicles (less than 4 years old) and also for Plug in Hybrid electric vehicles. Grants start at €3500.

You may get double the normal grant if you scrap an older, more polluting or high-mileage car and switch to electric.
That means a grant of as much as €25,000 is possible if replacing a scrapped vehicle with an electric one that is wheelchair accessible.
(Vehicles eligible for scrappage are those with mileage of 300,000km or more OR vehicles within 3 years of the maximum age allowed for Taxis/ SPVs)

The closing date for applications is 30 November 2023.

How Far Can an Electric Car Travel?

Some models of electric cars can travel around 500km on a full charge. Teslas have the longest range – as high as 650km. The typical range of most new electric cars is from 250km to 350km.

Nissan says that their Leaf , fully electric car, can travel 250km with a fully charged 30 kWh battery and 378km with the latest 40 kWh battery.

An example of a round trip of around 250km would be to Dublin City Centre from Wexford or Athlone and back.

Prices of Electric Cars in Ireland

Electric cars are often assumed to cost a lot more than “normal” cars.
Compared to conventionally powered cars, the price of a new electric car can be anything from 15% to 50% higher. But with the government grant – the prices can compare quite well.
The cheapest electric cars are priced at around €26,000 (after the grant).

VRT Relief on Electric Cars

  • Electric cars with a selling Price of up €40,000 will be granted VRT relief of up to €5,000.
  • Vehicles with a selling price of greater than €40,000 but less than €50,000 will receive a reduced level of relief.
    • On prices over €40,000, the relief is reduced by 50% of the selling price over €40,000.
  • There is no VRT relief on electric vehicles above €50,000.

In Budget 2022 – VRT relief was extended until the end of 2023

Comparison of Some Electric Car Prices in Ireland

Cheapest Priced Models Shown First

  • Fiat 500e 24Kwh €25,995
  • MG 4 EV 51Kwh €27,495
  • Nissan Leaf 40kwh €30,345
  • MG ZS EV 51.1kWh €31.995
  • Peugeot e-208 50kwh: €31,995
  • Hyundai Kona 42kwh €32,495
  • Renault Zoe 56kwh €33,995
  • MG 5 61 Kwh €34,645
  • Opel Corsa SC €34,818
  • Opel Mokka €35,568
  • Mini Cooper €35,615
  • Citroen C4 €39,789
  • Hyundai Ioniq 58Kwh €39,995
  • Volkswagen Id 3 Life 58Kwh €40,862
  • Tesla Model Y €44,990
  • Tesla Model 3 €43,558
  • Skoda Enyaq €44,369
  • BMW i3 €44,695
  • Kia Niro €44,990
  • Tesla Model 3 €44,990
  • Volkswagen Id 4 €45,110
  • Tesla Model Y €46,990
  • Audi Q4 Etron €56,780

Prices from Jan 2023 AND they include the €5,000 SEAI Grant for Private Customers & any Government VRT Relief.
Please note that there may be price variations due to delivery charges.
The grant will be reduced from July 2023 – see details above.

You might be able to save some money by purchasing a second-hand electric car in the UK.  Especially if it was made in the UK – because there will be no import duty.
However, many “UK made” cars, such as the Nissan Leaf , are built from parts from outside the UK and might not be classed as “UK origin” .

For some tips on the best way to pay – see or page about Buying a Car in The UK

Do Electric Cars Really Save You Money?

Electric Car Running Costs:

Electricity Costs Vs Petrol – an example

  • An MG Zs petrol car driven 18000km would cost an estimated €1691 in fuel . (Based on a petrol price of €1.65 per litre and fuel usage of 17.56 km per litre)
  • It is estimated that an MG ZS EV all-electric car driven 18,000km would use 2300 kWh of electricity. and would cost €525 in electricity. (Based on night rates of 22.8c per Kwh).
  • Compared to average fuel costs for the petrol MG ZS – this is a saving of  €970 per year.
  • This works out as a saving of 69%

Electric Cars Energy Consumption Figures

Some Examples of estimated Electricity Usage for 18000km – Lowest First

Car MakeEnergy Consumption
Energy Cost To Drive 18000km
(Based on Night Rates + Home Charger)
MG ZS EV128€525
Fiat 500140€575
Tesla Model 3140€575
Hyundai Kona143€587
VW Id 3158€648
VW ID 4168€689
Nissan Leaf 40171€702
Nissan Leaf 62185€759
Volvo XC 40238€977
Citroen Spacetourer255€1047
Electric Ireland Night Rates used (March 2023)

Average Car Fuel Costs Compared (December 2022 prices)

Fuel TypeAverage Cost per 100km
Electricity€2.92 **

** These figures are based on 90% charging at home on night rates and 10% on public chargers

Swapping to a night rate tariff or a smart tariff , means that you will pay less at night time but more for your daytime electricity usage and sometimes a higher standing charge.
More here about Night Saver Electricity Charges

More here on Running Costs of Electric Cars in Ireland

Other Electric Car Running Costs

Motor Tax

The Motor Tax on a Battery Electric Vehicle in Ireland is the lowest rate possible which is €120 a year.

Electric Car Servicing Costs

A big difference between traditional and electric cars is that electric cars don’t need as much servicing as traditional cars.  There are much fewer moving parts, no oil or filters, no clutch, timing belt etc.
The estimated average annual maintenance costs for an electric car are €350 , while the estimated maintenance costs for petrol/diesel cars are €700 a year.

electric cars in ireland

Benefit in Kind on Electric Cars

There is an exemption on benefit in kind (BIK) with company electric cars.
The Dept of Finance announced the phasing out of this 0% Benefit-in-kind on Electric Vehicles over the next 4 years .
Prior to 2023 the BIK on fully electric vehicles was 0% on an OMV (Original Market Value) up to €50,000, after €50,000 the 30% rate of Benefit in Kind applied.

From 2023 onwards – for BIK purposes, the threshold / cap on original market value of an electric vehicle will be reduced to €35,000 for 2023; and will be reduced to €20,000 for 2024; and €10,000 for 2025. It will be abolished altogether in 2026. TFrom 2023 there are new rates for BIK, and the rate for Electric Vehicles will be 22.5% for everything over the new threshold.

For example :

In 2023 Threshold changes to €35,000 @ 0% BIK, 22.5% for balance

Car Original Market Value =€50,000

BIK = (€50,000 -€35,000)* 22.5%   =  €3,375

Tax at marginal rate of 52% of €3,375  =  €1,755

ESB Charging stations

ESB has developed an island of Ireland-wide charging infrastructure of 1,200 public charge points. (about 900 of these are in the Republic). ESB  state that fast charge points are located every 50km on all major inter-urban routes.  But the problem can be that some of them are out of order. electric car owners have to register and get a card to use the chargers. (Here)  .

Charging Times

At the ESB public charging points, the majority will currently charge at 22kW, taking around four hours to fully charge a typical car.
Over 70 of the ESB charging points use 43kW ‘fast charging’ which can charge most batteries to 80% in around 30 minutes. Not all EVs can avail of rapid charging but can still use rapid chargers at a slower charging rate.

Charging Fees

Charging at all ESB public points was FREE , but some fees were introduced in 2019 .

Details of the Cost of Electric Vehicle Charging in Ireland Here

You can find a map of all the ESB charge points here.

Environmental Impact

Electric cars are not really “zero-emission” – but they are more environmentally friendly than petrol or diesel cars and will become more so as the generation of electricity from renewable sources increases to the government target of 40%.

Although fully electric cars are classed as producing zero carbon emissions, some of the electricity they use may have been generated by burning gas or coal.
An increasing proportion of electricity in Ireland is generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar . According to a recent analysis from EirGrid, renewable generation accounted for 43% of Irish electricity consumption in 2020.

Reduced Toll Charges for Electric Vehicles 

Since July 2018 there is now a discount scheme for electric vehicles with as much as 75% off toll tag charges on the M50 for example.  This could be worth up to €500 a year for daily M50 users.

More about the electric car toll discount scheme here