The ESB were due to begin applying a fee for using its public charging infrastructure which up until now was free to use for EV owners. This was used as an incentive to encourage the uptake of EV sales, but now the ESB has reversed its decision to apply a charge to use its infrastructure for fear of killing off potential purchasers of EV’s.

Ireland has now one of the most advanced Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network in Europe. The ESB had explained that ” In order for ESB ecars to sustain and grow this network so that it can support the mass uptake of electric vehicles in Ireland, we are introducing a payment structure for use of the charge point network of €16.99 per month “. This gives unlimited access to over 800 charge points.

New ESB ecars customers were being asked to sign up to a monthly fee of €16.99 (VAT inclusive), with payment coming into effect in January 2016. As part of this package, customers would receive: • Free use of all 800+ standard public charge points • Unlimited access to over 70 ecars fast chargers until April 2016, (after which date a 30 cent per minute usage fee will apply) • 24/7 call centre support

Existing ESB ecars customers would continue to have access until April 2016 at no cost, by which time a payment structure similar to that available to new customers will be made available to them. In addition, ESB ecars is working on additional price plans s that it will launch at that time to give EV drivers an even great choice in terms of how they use the network.

Head of ESB Ecars, Gareth Davis outlined the rationale for the decision. “Ireland has now one of the largest and most advanced electric vehicle charge point networks in Europe so it is now opportune to provide for a funding model that maintains and develops this cutting-edge technology.

“A comprehensive public charging system with supporting IT and communications is essential to enable EVs to be used in Ireland. Unlike EV systems in other European countries, our unique, charging network operates on a one-card basis so that all charge points are available for use by all EV drivers.”

“This system includes more than 70 fast chargers located approximately 60 kilometres along inter-urban – capable of recharging a typical EV in 25 minutes – enabling drivers to conduct cross-country travel. In addition, we have placed over 800 Standard chargers in communities throughout Ireland to support drivers in every corner of the country.”

Mr Davis said that the electrification of transport will play a vital part of tackling climate change, reducing driving costs, lessening dependence on imported fossil fuels and improving air quality in our towns and cities.

He said that the trends in Ireland and overseas are pointing : “Today, signs of the growth of electric vehicles and evidence of their social benefits are greater than ever. Total global EV sales are forecast to reach 1 million during 2015 with tens of thousands of electric vehicles already on the road in countries such as Norway and the Netherlands. In UK, the EV fleet is projected to more than double this year to reach 50,000 by the end of November 2015. Evidence of significant growth in EVs is also beginning to occur in Ireland with over 600 EV registered in Ireland to date in 2015.”esb_chargepoint

The ESB are likely to review this decision when EV ownership increases as they will want to get some kind of return on their investment.

www.evcompare.ie – Ireland’s Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Website


Source – ESB