IEVOA Press Release – ESB Ecars AC Pay Charging

IEVOA Press Release – ESB Ecars AC Pay Charging

IEVOA Press Release  – 10th July 2020

Paid charging on the ESB ecars standard AC network

On Wednesday (8th July 2020), ESB ecars announced details of the arrangements to be put in place for paid charging on their standard AC public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

New ESB Ecars 22kW AC charge point

The full ESB ecars press release can be found here:

In summary:

  • Paid charging on standard AC chargers will commence on 10th August 2020
  • Charging will be priced per kWh used with two price plan options:
    • ‘Pay As You Go’ at 26.8c per kWh
    • ‘Membership’ with a €4.60 monthly subscription fee at 23c per kWh
  • No overstay fees will apply at this time but usage will be monitored and these may be introduced at some later stage if needed
  • Fees will not apply to the network in Northern Ireland at this time.

The IEVOA is broadly supportive of the measures announced having long held the view that paid charging across all ESB ecars public infrastructure is positive for current EV owners and will also support on-going EV adoption in line with the objective of the Climate Action Plan.  However, on this occasion we are somewhat disappointed with the pricing.

We consulted with ESB ecars on these measures earlier in the year following a survey of our members to whom we posed the following question: ‘Assuming charging is costed per kWh on the standard AC charging network, how much would you be prepared to pay?

The results were as follows from a total of 195 responses to this question:

  • < 10c per kWh – 26% (51 responses)
  • 10-20c per kWh – 41%  (81 responses)
  • 20-30c per kWh – 12% (23 responses)
  • It should remain free – 17% (34 responses)
  • Unsure – 3% (6 responses).

With the majority of owners expressing a desire to see pricing below 20c kWh we are therefore disappointed to see pricing pitched above this. With this in mind we spoke with ESB ecars following their announcement in order to understand the rationale behind their pricing decision.  These are primarily to:

  • Set the pricing between what customers pay to charge at home and what they pay at an ESB ecars rapid charge point (currently 26.8c on the ‘Membership’ plan or 30.5c on the ‘Pay As You Go’ plan)
  • To fund on-going maintenance, support and further investment in the public charging network.  

Whilst not delighted with the pricing we understand the need and trust the methodology applied.  Furthermore, paid charging opens the way for competition allowing other charging network operators to bring their plans to fruition.  This can only be positive for EV owners with more chargers, more choice and competition on pricing.  Meanwhile, the price point selected will still ensure that EVs are cheaper to run than their ICE equivalents, whilst encouraging those able to avail of home charging to do so as a preference.

Legacy ESB Ecars 22kW AC charge point

We are conscious that one group of EV owners (and potential owners) particularly impacted by this change will be those who cannot currently charge at their home.  As part of our objectives for this coming year we will be intensifying our lobbying efforts to have legislation put in place to ensure that all potential EV owners can avail of home charging wherever they may live, with the owners put on landlords, management companies and local councils to provide or at least allow for these facilities which is not always the case currently.  This is essential in driving widespread EV adoption in Ireland. 

IEVOA will be monitoring this roll-out closely from 10 August and will keep in close contact with ESB ecars over the coming months, passing on feedback from our members and ensuring their voices are heard.

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