Many many people have been asking what they should do about getting an electric car.
So I thought we’d keep it dead simple.
With lots of help from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), here are seven straightforward steps to hopefully make the whole exercise that bit easier.
1. The obvious one: Check out the range of EVs which are eligible for an SEAI grant of up to €5,000.
2. The SEAI website (www.drivingelectric.ie) has a handy tool to help you compare running costs, driving range, annual tax and so on.
Use it as part of your focus on what you want.
3. Take your time. It is absolutely vital you pick a car which will suit you in terms of comfort, practical passenger and luggage room – and, of course, range.
There is no point in paying too much for something with higher range than you feasibly require or, contrarily, purchasing a low-range vehicle when you need 430km at least.
4. It might sound a bit strange but pick a car that will be easy to adapt to as well. Running an EV does require a change of mindset in terms of how, when and where you charge the battery and so on.
5. After you have narrowed down your choice of car to, I would suggest, two models bargain for the best deal but don’t get too stingy.
Dealers have to make a margin too.
6. If you have a trade-in don’t be distracted by what the dealer says he is offering you.
Only concentrate on what it is costing you to change. Keep focused on that at all times and you won’t go too far wrong.
When you have bought, the dealer will do all the paperwork necessary for the €5,000 car grant from the SEAI.
This will take approximately 10 to 15 working days.
As you know, you also get a VRT rebate of €5,000, making a total of €10,000 knocked off the initial price.
7. Unless you already have one, you should apply – yourself – to SEAI for a home car charger grant of up to €600. Just get your meter point reference number (MPRN) from your electricity bill and fill in the online form at www.seai.ie/grants/electric-vehicle-grants/electric-vehicle-home-charger-grant/
As soon as that is approved by a letter of offer, get an electrician registered with Safe Electric Ireland to complete the work and submit the required forms back to SEAI. Payment will then be made to your bank account.
Happy EV times.