Ok, so you have browsed through the many vehicles available on the Nifti website. You currently drive a petrol or diesel but believe it could be time to switch to an electric vehicle.
What are the key factors and what do you really need to know?
Let us help you!
The first question is usually, is it worth changing to an electric vehicle? Surely the modern combustion engines with so many particulate filters to meet emission laws are just as clean. Well, generally speaking, electric cars tend to produce significantly less planet-warming emissions than the traditional petrol and diesel-powered engine models that we have used on our roads for decades.
Most manufacturers are making greater efforts to reduce the impact of an electric car’s production from the very start. The factories they are made in, are powered by renewable energy, the materials used are of a sustainable nature and the battery technology is getting cleaner and better every year. More electric cars on the road means significantly reduced air pollution, lower carbon dioxide emissions and reduction of noise pollution. With no exhaust pipe to produce carbon monoxide, air quality becomes considerably better using an electric vehicle.
Another point worth noting is how clean the electricity is that you feed your electric car. At present, roughly one-third of electricity used to charge an electric car is renewable and Ireland has set a target of 70% renewable grid electricity by 2030. When it comes to your impact on the environment you have to think of future generations and not just today and living in the now. We all need to play our part.
The dreaded range anxiety that can only be felt by electric car owners has had many second-guessing the practicality of electric power over the years. If truth be told, it was, and still is something to consider but the overall distance range of an electric car has improved dramatically in the last ten years. With a little planning and proper understanding of your daily commute the anxiety will dissipate as you acclimatise to life with an electric car. Studies have shown that for the vast majority, electric cars can easily do the daily commute with power in reserve on a single charge.
Broadly speaking a 40kWh battery provides around 270km range on one charge, while a 62kWh battery provides up to 385km on a single charge. If you happen to cover 50km per day on average, a 40kWh car would only need to be charged every five or six days, or once a week with a 62kWh car. Driving style, where you live, weather conditions all play a factor but most will find the range of a modern electric car more than adequate.
The other key to eliminating range anxiety is to know where to charge in your area, home or workplace. The ESB has installed approximately 1,300 charge points across Ireland, with that number continuing to grow. Other suppliers have also come on stream, some with high speed charging capabilities. A Nifti tip is to make sure you have a home-charging unit also if possible because this really is the key to commuting daily with ample range. On arrival home, simply get into the habit of plugging the vehicle in. On average, 80% of car journeys in Ireland cover 20km or less and with typical electric vehicle ranges going from 100km up to 500km, you can put your mind at ease.
Yes the big question is what are the savings like and as an electric vehicle owner, it’s a question you best be prepared for, because everyone wants to know the answer! The simple Nifti answer is yes, electric cars are cheaper to fuel, tax (€120 per annum) and maintain in the long run over your traditional combustion powered vehicle. Charging aside for a moment there are fewer moving parts with no engine oils, plugs, belts, filters in play making service trips few and far between. Even brakes last a great deal longer than their petrol and diesel equivalents thanks to highly efficient regenerative braking systems. You simply lift your foot off the accelerator and allow the vehicle to slow up on regen braking, which becomes strangely addictive. Depending on the type of electric car, varying levels of regenerative braking can be used.
To directly compare the saving you could experience with an electric vehicle we recommend checking out the SEAI’s comparison calculator website but the average annual saving when you run different vehicles appears to be around €2000 a year. Homeowners can now avail of a 7kWh home charging unit, which offers low-cost night-time electricity rates for as little as €3’ should you choose to avail of nighttime electricity rates. This is then added to your domestic electricity bill. Public charging varies in price but the ESB charges 26.8c per kWh at the “pump” which equates to around €3.97 for 100km/h of range. A subscription-based option will reduce this further. Although electric cars were regarded as expensive vehicles to purchase in the first place, you have to do the math with the grants and other savings considered. Most electric cars listed on Nifti are either directly price-comparable or even better value than existing petrol or diesel alternatives.
Running Costs & Savings
Aside from cheaper toll bridge crossings from the government the SEAI has a number of grant options available for private use. Grants are accessed through an authorised dealer network via your Nifti electric vehicle selector. These grants apply to new vehicles only. For the private individual, a maximum grant of €5,000 is available, dependent on the overall price of the vehicle exceeding €20,000. In comparison, a minimum grant of €2,000 is made available for electric cars priced between €14,000 and €15,000. The lower the price, the lower the grant. All Nifti prices are inclusive of the grants available. From a charging perspective, provided you are a private owner, a grant up to the value of €600 can help towards the purchase and installation costs for a designated charge point at your property.