The Electric Vehicle revolution is in full swing. This shift from conventional fuel to electricity brings about a new set of considerations for EV owners, distinct from those associated with petrol or diesel vehicles. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the various methods and costs of charging an electric vehicle, providing you with the essential knowledge to efficiently charge your EV. Understanding these charging processes is crucial for any current or prospective EV owner, ensuring a smooth and effective use of this innovative technology.
EV charging options in Ireland
- Home charging with a standard plug (trickle charging)
Utilising a standard three-pin plug at home, often termed ‘trickle charging’, is a convenient but slower method to charge your EV. Ideal for overnight charging or when time is not a constraint, this method involves connecting your EV to a regular household socket. While convenient, it’s important to note that regular sockets may not be optimal for sustained high-power charging, making this method more suitable for occasional rather than primary use.
- EV charger installation at home
Opting for a home EV charger offers a balance of cost-effectiveness and charging speed. With various grants available to offset installation costs, this method is a popular choice for many EV owners. An EV charger provides a faster and more efficient charging experience than the standard plug option. Home EV chargers cannot be installed without a qualified electrician, this is to ensure both safety and compliance. Local Power has partnered with ChargePoint in Ireland to provide you with local and trusted service, combined with the quality and reliability of an award-winning charging manufacturer.
- Public charging stations in Ireland
The Irish landscape has seen a significant increase in public EV chargers. Currently, Ireland boasts approximately 5,000 public chargers across 800 locations, with the ESB operating a majority of these. These public chargers, often faster than home chargers, are available in pay-as-you-go and membership formats, with the latter offering more favourable rates.
- Charging at the workplace
Many employers are now supporting the transition to EVs by providing charging facilities at the workplace. This convenient option not only encourages the use of EVs but also offers an additional charging resource for employees.
The crucial aspect for employers is implementing a system that enables efficient management of charging, including monitoring who charges, controlling access, managing queues, and assessing charging costs. ChargePoint’s software offers a comprehensive solution for all these needs.
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy in Ireland
In early 2023, the Irish Transport Minister, Eamon Ryan, announced an ambitious strategy, the Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022 – 2025. This plan involves a €100 million investment in public charging infrastructure over three years. The strategy aims to place high-powered chargers every 60 km along motorways, at taxi ranks, hospitals, tourist sites, hotels, sports clubs, and in areas serving apartment blocks and neighbourhoods. This initiative is expected to expand the number of charging points to between 2,540 and 4,850 within the next three years.
Cost comparison: home vs public charging
Charging your EV at home is generally more economical compared to using public stations. Home EV charging becomes even more cost-effective if you’re on a night rate electricity plan, allowing you to charge your vehicle overnight at lower rates. However, it’s essential for EV owners to compare different tariffs, especially if they have a smart metre, to maximise savings. On the other hand, public charging, especially rapid charging, tends to be pricier.
Understanding EV charging costs
The cost to charge an EV varies based on several factors such as the battery size, the vehicle’s range, and the electricity unit rate. Charging at home is typically cheaper than public options. With a NightSaver metre, for instance, charging can cost around 15.4c per kWh, compared to the standard rate of about 31c per kWh. Fully charging an EV at home could cost as little as one-tenth of a full tank of petrol. However, the actual cost will depend on your specific electricity rate.
Adding solar panels can drastically reduce the charging costs of your EV. Local Power is an installer of the leading solar EV charger; zappi, this allows you to use any surplus electricity generated from solar PV to charge up your EV! This improves the economics of your EV and your solar PV system.
Charging time for EVs
The time it takes to charge your EV depends on the battery type and the charging method used. Fast public chargers can power a battery to 80% in roughly 30 minutes, making them ideal for long-distance travel. At home, a standard 7kW charger can fully charge a 40kW battery in about 3-5 hours. Larger batteries over 60kW may require 6-8 hours for a full charge. The trickle charging method using a standard socket will generally take upwards of 18 hours.
Charger types and compatibility
EVs utilise various chargers and stations. Like mobile phone chargers, EV chargers have two connectors – one for the vehicle and the other for the charging point. The charger’s speed (power rating) determines its compatibility with different connectors. EV chargers are categorised as slow, fast, or rapid, affecting the charging duration. The main types of connectors for attaching the charger to your vehicle are Type 1 and Type 2, with most EV drivers owning a portable cable compatible with their vehicle’s socket type.
Cost of installing a home EV charger
The cost to install a home EV charger varies depending on the charger type and eligibility for the €300 SEAI Home Charging Grant. Cost of installation can vary depending on hardware chosen and the electrical infrastructure of your home.
New regulations for EV charging infrastructure
In late 2022, new building regulations were introduced in Ireland, mandating the installation of EV recharging infrastructure in new homes. These regulations apply to new houses with driveways or parking spaces, new multi-unit residential buildings, and major renovations of multi-unit buildings that include car parks or electrical infrastructure.
Looking for an EV charger for your home or business?
As you embark on your journey with an electric vehicle, whether for personal use or for your business, the importance of selecting the right charging solution cannot be overstated. If you’re in search of an EV charger that aligns perfectly with your needs, consider choosing Local Power. Renowned for their expertise and commitment to quality, Local Power offers a range of EV charging solutions tailored to both home and business environments.
Embrace the future of driving with confidence and convenience by opting for a reliable and efficient charging system from Local Power, get a quote today!