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Owners of electric cars are to pay an average of €4.30 to boost their battery range by 100kms at fast public chargers.

But those using ordinary public chargers will escape the cost for now – at least until the middle of next year.

Those using fast chargers (50kW) will, however, have to pay for the power from November 18th. There will be two price plans for these: Pay As You Go or Membership.

Pay As You Go will cost 33c per kWh while Membership of €5-a-month means the cost of charging will be reduced to 29c per kWh.

ESB ecars say they are introducing pricing to support EV network expansion.

The fast-charge pricing will be followed by EV drivers having to pay for High Power Chargers (150kW) as soon as the first hubs are installed early next year.

But the standard network (22kW AC) will remain free to use while extensive upgrading continues. It is understood that could be the middle of next year at least.

Meanwhile, there is an introductory offer on fast-charging from October 29 until the end of November which means you haven’t to pay membership fees for a year if you sign up in that time.

And ESB ecars reckon that even with the charges, drivers will still save a lot of money.

For someone taking the introductory offer they claim savings of 35pc per 100kms on driving costs compared with a diesel.

Pay as You Go customers could save up to 27pc, they estimate.

But the real savings come if you charge mostly at home.

ESB ecars say: “If you are a typical EV driver and charge most of the time at home (85pc of charging) and the remaining 15pc of charging through public fast chargers, you could save up to 71pc compared with a diesel driver.

Meantime, the ESB is assessing sites on motorways and the national road network to locate more than 50 High-Power-Charging hubs.

These hubs will have the capacity to charge between two and eight vehicles at the same time with the ability to deliver 100km of electric driving range in as few as six minutes.

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