Friday 22 November 2019

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ESB announces pricing for electric car charging

Thursday, 7th November, 2019 8:45am

The ESB has announced that from 18 November its network of public electric car charging points will no longer be free to use.

Charges for charging will be introduced on a phased basis, starting with the existing network of 50kW fast chargers. The network of ‘slow’ 22kW chargers will continue to be free to use.

Pricing for the network of ultra-rapid 150kW chargers will be announced as those points begin to come on line next year, as part of the ESB’s €20 million investment in the public car charging network. Half of that investment is coming from the Government, as allocated in the recent Budget, while the rest comes from the ESB.

From 18 November, a 50kW charger will cost 33c per kilowatt-hour to use. For the latest generation of electric cars, that will mean a significant cost for using a public charger. The new Renault Zoe, for example, with a 52kWh battery, would cost €17.16 to fully charge from flat. A Kia e-Niro, with its 62kWh battery would cost €20.46, while an Audi e-Tron quattro with a 95kWh battery, would cost €31.

You can get a cheaper rate than that, though. The ESB has also announced a membership service whereby, for a monthly €5 fee, the price per charge drops to 29c/kWh. That would reduce the price of charging the Kia e-Niro, for example, to €17. Of course, few owners will fully charge their cars from flat at a public charger. The more likely figure is to charge to 80 per cent capacity from around ten per cent remaining charge. For the Kia e-Niro, that would suggest a charging cost of around €14.

With the charges in place, the ESB claims that electric car drivers still stand to make significant savings over and equivalent car with an internal combustion engine. Sign up for the introductory offer, and the assumption is that you’ll save 35 per cent on your fuel costs per 100km, compared to a diesel car.

An electric car driver using the standard 33c rate should save some 27 per cent compared to the fuel costs of a normal car, according to the ESB. For a typical customer, whom the ESB assumes will get 85 per cent of the power from home charging and only 15 per cent from public charging points, the savings figure is quoted as 71 per cent.

To travel 100km in a current 40kWh Nissan Leaf, with the new charging structure, will cost €4.89 according to the ESB, but that includes 85 per cent charging at home. To travel the same distance in a Ford Focus diesel, again according to the ESB, would cost €6.66.

Niall Hogan, Head of ESB ecars, said: “For Ireland to meet the growing number of electric vehicles on our roads, we need to ensure we have a reliable, accessible, country-wide public charging network. The introduction of pricing to fast public chargers is a natural step in ensuring we improve the network and maintain high standards into the future for electric vehicles.”

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