Yearly archives: 2018

Leaf’s Rapidgate : What can you do to avoid it ?

The Nissan Leaf is infamous for its lack of battery cooling. It wasn’t really an issue on the Leaf 24, and then with the Leaf 30, you could hit the red-zone of the temperature gauge after 3 or 4 fast charges during the day. So when the Leaf 40 came out, it was with a great disappointment for the Leaf community to see that battery cooling wasn’t installed and that after just one fast charge, it could get so hot that the BMS (Battery Management System) would limit the charging speed to protect the battery. Rapidgate was born.

Why is it getting worse with the newer models?

As its name states, the Nissan Leaf 40 has a bigger capacity than the 24 and 30 but the physical size of the pack is exactly the same as the one of the previous models. When you put more energy/heat in the similar volume, heat is more concentrated and temperature rises.

Why do batteries get warm ?

Charging and discharging a battery creates heat. You can see it on your mobile phone if you play a game or use an app that needs a lot of resource/power. the battery will get warmer as it discharges. The opposite is also true, we’ve all noticed our smartphones getting warm after a long fast charge. The exact same applies to car batteries. When you plug at home and draw 3 or 7kw of power, your battery will not suffer from excessive heat and it will stay at a reasonable temperature level. On the other hand, when fast charging at 40 or 50kw, the battery will get very hot, very quickly. Batteries are usually happy around 25-30°c, this is why most manufacturers offer battery cooling/warming. This is best for a better battery life. In parts of the world where climate is hot, such as south California or Arizona, Leaf owners have seen their batteries degrading very quickly. Thankfully, we have an extremely mild climate in Ireland, never hot, never cold, which minimizes the issue, and making our country probably the most EV suitable in the world 🙂

So what can I do to to keep my Leaf 30 / Leaf 40 battery as cool as possible ?

If you know you are driving a long distance in a day (say 400km or more) there are some simple steps you can follow to limit that heat gain:

  • Fully charge your car the day before. It sounds obvious, but charging the car the day before, allowing the batteries to cool down after the charge, will allow you to start your journey with a battery as cold as possible. The battery being full, you’ll make your first fast charge late in your journey.
  • Drive at reasonable speeds. The faster you drive, the worse economy you will get. A car doing 16kWh / 100km at 100kph will draw 16kWh in one hour. A car doing 12kWh / 100km at 80kph will draw 12 kWh in 1 hour 12 min so less than 10 kWh in one hour ! More time between charges mean your car will be able to naturally cool down a little. A better efficiency will allow you to get more kilometers from your charge and, spend less time recharging ie put less heat in your battery.
  • Accelerate gently, use the Eco mode to help you doing so.
  • Avoid regeneration. Every time you slow down, you are recharging the battery and adding a bit of heat back into the battery. It is better to avoid it as much as possible. If you’re cruising at 90 kph on the motorway and that it is going downhill, just coast and let the car pick up some speed, rather than regenerating. On a Leaf, you will need to press slightly on the accelerator to do so.
  • Do not use cruise control. It doesn’t anticipate slopes as well as a human can and will therefore over-accelerate and over-regenerate.
  • Minimise the use the e-pedal (ideally deactivate it): it is a very good system especially around town but has a very strong regeneration that of course will produce heat.

Finally keep in mind that driving slower will not necessarily mean arrive later at your final destination. If you drive faster between 2 charges and save 20 minutes by driving 110 kph instead of 90 kph between 2 charges, you could loose much more than these 20mn spared by spending more time at the FCP. A Leaf with a cool battery should take around 45mn to charge 80% at 50kw but this can easily double if the battery is hot and charging speed slows down to 22kw as seen after 1 or 2 fast charges. Drive wisely !


Edit (28th January 2019) : Recently, Nissan has updated the software dictating the speed at which the car must charge (based on the battery temperature). It seems that this fix is only for Europe and will be also carried out on existing Leaf. Tests have been done and it seems that the car charges faster at any temperature, which is a help on longer distances. However it means that the battery will get more heat thus challenge its life expectancy.


ESB FCP Charging Fees Survey Summary

Dear members,

This is a summary of a survey conducted amongst registered members of the Irish EV Owners Association about the planned introduction of fees at the ESB Ecars Fast Chargers in 2019. The survey applies to the Fast Chargers only and does not include any questions about the standard AC chargers.

This summary report contains the results of all the questions with the exception of the open response question 10. This is for IEVOA committee use only.

78% of the respondents indicated they had access to a home charger.

About 45% of the respondents use an Ecars Fast Charger every week. Most respondents (123) only use one a few times a month but that’s closely followed by a few times a week (117).

Most respondents are in favour of the introduction of fees on a per kWH basis (56%), though over 20% of the respondents would like to keep the chargers free to use.

Most members are in favour of per kWh pricing, (331) would like to keep the cost per kWh at the average Irish home rate (49.9% of those in favour of per kWh billing) with €0.20/kWh and €0.30/kWh the next highest percentages.

Of those in favour of per minute pricing (139), most would like to keep the price at less than €0.20/minute.

Only 21.5% of the respondents are in favour of a flat session fee, around half of those (48.5%) would like the session fee to be less than €3 per session.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (90%) would like to see an overstay fee applied but the response to when this would be applied is very mixed. 1/3 appear to want a per minute fee from the start.

36% of those in favour of a overstay fee would like the price to be more than €0.50/minute.

84% do not want a connection fee to be applied.

In summary, based on the results of this survey, if fees are to be introduced for the use of ESB Ecars Fast Chargers in Ireland the majority of users would like to see per kWh billing at an average home energy rate, without a connection fee, but with some kind of overstay fee.

The summary results of individual questions can be seen on this document.

Thank you to all who took the time to answer this survey.

The Irish EV Owners Association Committee

New variant for the Volkswagen E-Golf

Whist Volkswagen has become the specialist of future EV models announcements, very little has happened in their current EV range that is unfortunately more focused on multiplying ICE SUVs.


The PHEVs VW are gone (Passat saloon and Estate GTE, Golf GTE) and the e-Up! (BEV) never made it here. But the e-Golf is still here, awaiting for the anticipated I.D. (orders are supposed to be open in 2019). VW has been selling the e-Golf since 2014, in very low numbers first, but with more interest from customers since 2018 and the battery upgrade (35.8 kWh), and now a new variant is in for 2019. It is called Executive Edition and sits on the top of the 2-model range. For €3.500 over the base model, it comes with a good list of extra equipments such as leather seats, upgraded alloys (17” instead of 16”), the very nice 12″ screen replacing the traditional analogue dials behind the steering wheel. It also features Key-less access, rear privacy windows, and a few more minor elements.

This Executive Edition is giving a better value for money than the base model, without becoming the deal of the century. You may note that the heat pump is still optional (€1,067)…  but fake exhaust tailpipe comes as standard on all e-Golf 🙂 There is a technology package available for just €499, including Parking sensors, automatic high beams, a “lights and vision” pack or folding exterior mirrors. That is a package you shouldn’t skip.

It is important to know that the bigger wheels will affect the drag and therefore the range but Volkswagen has rightfully decided to offer a free 16” wheels “downgrade” so that luxury can also rhyme with economy.

The e-Golf has never been a cheap BEV, but keep in mind that the smaller but more premium BMW i3 starts at a similar price (€35,760 with a 42 kWh battery and 310km WLTP range), and in the non premium world you have a better equipped Hyundai Kona Electric (€35,995) that offers a range of no less than 482km WLTP.


e-Golf : €35,995

e-Golf Executive Edition : €39.495

Range for the e-Golf and e-Golf Executive Edition with 16” wheels :  230km (WLTP)

Range for the e-Golf Executive Edition with 17” wheels : 217km (WLTP)


Find all the info you need on the Volswagen Ireland website

Photo credit : Volkswagen


Irish PHEVs Sales – November 2018

In November, 19 new PHEVs were sold. Not very significant but still representing 2.9% of the total market this moth. And 0.59% on the course of the year.

Used imports are still very strong, and dominated by the Outlander PHEV. 173 used PHEVs were imported last month.





Climate Action Fund announcement on EV charging network

This is the IEVOA statement related to today’s Climate Action fund announcement

“The IEVOA welcomes today’s announcement of the €10 million funding for ESB Ecars to develop a faster charging network (150kw vs 50kw currently), as part of the Climate Action Fund. This will continue to support the EV adoption growth, as the number of EV’s on the Irish roads are now reaching 7500, twice as many as just 1 year ago, with an even more substantial growth anticipated for 2019. This will therefore have to be backed up by further investments. Association members are eager for an expansion of a reliable charging network – particularly fast charging hubs, with multiple charging ports, offering increased availability, reliability, supported with high levels of maintenance. We look forward to further announcements.”

Contact :


2019 BMW i3 120Ah – Better range and lower price!

BMW is now taking orders for the longer range 120Ah version of its i3 along with a few updates.

The 120Ah and it’s 42.2 kWh battery (37.9 kWh useable) replaces the 94Ah version that is no longer produced. Europe no longer has the possibility to order i3 with the range extender (Rex) and you now have just 2 versions available, the i3 and the more powerful i3s.  

Range is now 270 to 310 km WLTP (that is 345 to 359 km in NEDC terms) which translate to around 260 km of real life range, about 30% more than the 94Ah’s 33.2 kWh battery.

New features are now available such as full LED headlights, Wifi, wireless phone charger, or a new Loft interior (Atelier, Lodge and Suite interiors remain unchanged). The Jucaro beige interior pictured here replaces the Protonic Blue in the exterior colour range.


New Loft interior

Good news is that the price is more reasonable that previously with a starting price of € 35,760 after grants, that is €2,200 less than previously.

BMW i3 120Ah (170hp) : €35,760

BMW t3s 120Ah (184hp) : €39,060


Visit BMW Ireland website for more information


Irish PHEVs Sales – October 2018

The PHEV market is somehow more eventful than the BEVs one with 2 interesting elements:

First on the new car market, the new Outlander PHEV has now landed in dealerships with 10 registrations, making this car the best seller of the month (but just 9th year to date).



Click on image for full-size view


And then the most remarkable event is the ever growing number of used imports. Where is it going to stop ? The very good supply of the UK market, low GBP/EUR exchange rate, affordable VRT and cheap road tax are making a PHEV import a no-brainer for many, and the word is obviously spreading. No less than 184 used PHEVs were imported last month. Keep in mind that just 224 PHEVs were imported for the whole 2017 year. This contrasts with the BEV imports that flucturated so far this year between 41 and 75 units per month.

Monthly sales of used import PHEVs, 2017 and 2018. Click on image for full-size view


Click on image for full-size view



Irish BEVs Sales – October 2018

With the end of year approaching, new cars sales become less significant. In October 37 new BEVs were registered in Ireland, which is a 27.6% growth over the same period in 2017, and 2.14% market share.

Click on the table for full size view

Used imports are growing 75.6% in October, bringing the total number of used BEVs imported this year to 600 (+54.2%).

This makes a grand total of 1811 BEVs (new and used) registered so far this year, and we could reach 2000 units by the end of the year

Click on the table for full size view

Updates for the Renault Zoé range

As for other European countries, the Zoé range for Ireland is getting some updates for the 2019 year:

* The base Expression R90 is now getting the 40kWh battery in replacement of the 22kWh one. Price increase is €1,500

* The 2 higher trims (Dynamique and Signature) now benefit from the more powerful R110 motor instead of the R90 one. Price increase is €300

* The Q90 motor remains available, at a €1,500 premium over the R110. It is the only one that benefits from the 43kw fast AC capability. The R90 and R110 can charge at 22kw only.


Prices of the 2019 Renault Zoé:

Zoé R90 Expression €24,990

Zoé R110 Dynamique €27,790

Zoé R110 Signature €30,290

Zoé Q90 Dynamique €29,090

Zoé Q90 Signature €31,790


Source : Renault Ireland

Photo credit : Jan-Bart Spang

Irish PHEVs Sales – September 2018

45 new PHEVs were sold last month (1.41% of the total market), showing a progress of 45.2% over September 2017. At the top this month with 20 registrations, the BMW 530e is also leading the segment to date this year (140 sales), overtaking the Kia Niro PHEV (135 sales).

142 PHEVs were imported in September which is another record, as you can see on the graph below.

PHEV used imports evolution (2017-2018) Source : simi


BMW expands its BMW i brand operations in Ireland

BMW Ireland shows strong trust in BEVs and PHEVs market by expanding its BMW i sub brand to the totality of retailers.

BMW iX3 Concept Vision

  Up till now only 5 out of a total of 14 Irish BMW Centres were offering i3 and i8 sales and maintenance (Cork, Galway and Dublin). This will push the visibility of the i brand to other locations of the country and will prepare the ground for the Mini Electric and BMW iX3, launched around 2019/2020 (BMW has pledged to have 25 BEV/PHEVs by 2025 – vs 9 today). Paulo Alves, Managing Director of BMW Group Ireland said: “We were the first premium brand to make a clear commitment to electric mobility, we currently have the widest range with nine electrified vehicles and this will grow to 25 models by 2025. The expansion of BMW i operations and the significant financial investments by our Irish retail network is a clear commitment to meet the future demands of our customers”.

MINI Electric Concept

This is part of an impressive investment of €37 million and the creation of 120 new jobs in the retail network, over the next 18 months.


Source & images : BMW Ireland

Irish BEVs Sales – September 2018

With the WLTP rules now in place, a number of European countries see their new car sales dropping from this month of September, caused by important pre-WLTP stock registered as these cars had to be registered before the 1st September. The Irish market dropped 17.9% after being in positive territory in August. But BEVs are not concerned by these changes resulting sales still up 106.2 % compared to the same month last year. The Nissan Leaf is once again the star of the segment, and once again is part of the Irish top 10 with a 7th place ! The Renault Zoé is still doing well and catching up with the Hyundai Ioniq that has seen zero registration this month. BEV have represented 3.09% of the Irish car market, a new record !

Used imports are still progressing, 42.9% year over year, with the usual dominance of the Nissan Leaf.


Facelift : Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is finally landing in Ireland and here is what you should know:

  • The 2.0 petrol engine is replaced by a 2.4. It gains 14 hp and 21Nm of torque to 135 hp and 211 Nm.
  • The front and rear motors (1 per axle) are rated 82 and 95hp respectively (instead of 80 hp each)
  • 0-100kph is reached in 10.5 seconds vs 11.0 seconds before
  • Battery capacity goes from 12 kWh to 13.8 kWh : not great compared to BEVs but quite large for a PHEV, especially since it’s still the only one able to fast-ish charge on Chademo (22kw).
  • Range is stable at 54 km NEDC, or 45 km WLTP.


You may think the gains are not huge but the big news here is the price! Previously offered at € 49.900 in a single trim (similar to the 2019 “Instyle”) , it is now available in 3 versions, all very well equipped :

The base version “Intense” at € 39,900 includes reverse camera, infotainment with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, keyless entry, electric parking brake, dual-zone climate control and 18″ alloys.

The mid-trim “Instyle” costs € 43,900 and adds leather upholstery, multi-view cameras, full LED headlights, heated front seats and steering wheel, some driving aids such as adaptative cruise control, lane departure warning, high-beam assist. From this trim you also get an external 1500w power supply (Vehicle to Home), useful to save your home fridge/freezer content in case of power cut 🙂 .

A new version called “S-Edition” is now offered at € 47,500 and adds sunroof, premium sound system, power tailgate, specific shock absorbers, a specific and more sporty exterior looks and more driving aids such as lane change assist or blind spot warning.

The savings over the previous version are at around € 6,000 and you can now get an Outlander PHEV for the price of similarly equipped diesel version.

You can find the full specifications of the 2019 Outlander on Mitsubishi Motors website

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


Irish PHEV Sales – August 2018

Sales growth of new PHEVs is slowing down, but we are in August above 1% market share, and with the addition to BEVs, close to 4%! The Kia Niro is still leading the segment this month.


As for used imports, the growth is still very strong with another record month : 118 imports, with a majority of Mitsubishi Outlanders.

The total of PHEVs were registered in 184 this months, and with the addition of 241 BEVs are making a total of 425 more cars with sockets on our roads.


Kia Niro PHEV


Source : Simi






Irish BEV Sales – August 2018

This is another very good month for BEV sales, and once again thanks to the Nissan Leaf, totalling 112 registrations in August. Not only the popular hatchback accounts for 2 thirds of BEV registrations but is also in the Irish top 10 !

Leaf was Ireland’s 10th Best selling car in August !

BEVs accounted for a very impressive 2.8% of the total new car market. Note that besides the Leaf most BEVs are performing quite well. The Jaguar i-Pace is entering the market with 1 registration in August.

Used BEVs imports are still strong with 75 registration (+38.9% vs 2017), best month of the year 2018 so far.

The first Irish i-Pace has been registered last month



Source : Simi

New on the market : Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric price is finally out for the Irish Market.

It will be sold (at least initially) in a single version, for € 35,995 after incentives. If this sounds expensive at first, but it has to be put in perspective considering it will have the powerful 204hp motor, with the large 64kWh battery.

It also comes fully equipped with leather seats, 17” alloy wheels, heated steering wheel and front seats, Android Auto and Apple Carplay for the infotainment, wireless phone charger and lane keep assist.

For the EV specifications side, it has a heat-pump, 7.2kw on-board AC charger, 70kw CCS DC charging port.

There doesn’t seem to be any option, besides a choice of roof and body colours.

Compared to a 40 kWh Nissan Leaf SVE, it is € 3,400 dearer : It has a similar equipment, but larger battery and a more powerful engine. It however is a small SUV (same size as a Renault Captur) and cannot match the family abilities the Nissan Leaf has.

There is no doubt on the fact it will sell well, and the question we have is : What is the allocation for Hyundai Ireland and how fast will they sell out ?

Orders open on November 5th for January deliveries.

All specifications and more info are on Hyundai website






Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment – Report on Decarbonising Domestic Transport

The Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment has published a report on Decarbonising Domestic Transport – E-Cars.

This report is now available for download.

Here are the Joint committee recommendations and the IEVOA position on these recommendations.


Recommendation 1
The Committee recommends that the assets and infrastructure relating to Electric Vehicles should be maintained as a strategic asset for the time being, rather than being commercialised. Any change to the ownership of assets should be undertaken in the public interest. Emphasis should instead be placed on generating policy in the area with a view to increasing the uptake of Electric Vehicles. A decision on a future plan on the public charging  infrastructure for electric vehicles needs to be taken, as currently there is uncertainty as to who will put this infrastructure in place.

The IEVOA committee was disappointed with this recommendation.


Recommendation 2
The Committee recommends that the Transmission System and Distribution System Operator where applicable, put in place a plan and conduct necessary infrastructure changes to make the electricity grid capable of supporting large scale charging of electric vehicles.

The IEVOA committee is broadly in agreement.


Recommendation 3
The Committee recommends that Transport Infrastructure Ireland should introduce a policy whereby Electric Vehicle users would not be required to pay tolls on certain roads, especially as this appears to have had a positive effect in other jurisdictions.

The IEVOA committee would welcome the introduction of free tolls, similar to other countries.


Recommendation 4
The Committee recommends that the Government should consider further reducing the rate of motor tax which applies to Electric Vehicles with a view to increasing uptake. Measures such as this have seen success in accelerating the uptake of Electric Vehicles in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. That the government should also consider increasing the current SEAI grant awarded for the purchase of an electric vehicle.

The IEVOA committee is broadly in agreement.

Recommendation 5
The Committee recommends that Gas Networks Ireland should also focus on the development of Liquefied Natural Gas as an alternative fuel, and not exclusively
concentrate on the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas into the Irish Transport Sector. Due regard should also be given to Liquefied Natural Gas so as to avoid placing unrealistic expectations on freight operators, particularly where journeys to the United Kingdom are concerned.

The IEVOA committee considers that LPG/CNG are fossil fuels and their use should not be encouraged as they are just another ICE.


Recommendation 6
The Committee recommends that direction should be provided to Local Authorities on the Government’s vision for Electric Vehicles to encourage joined-up thinking.

The IEVOA committee welcomes this initiative and would like the opportunity to be involved as part of the joined up thinking.


Recommendation 7
The Committee recommends that the State should encourage and/or incentivise Industry to endeavour to be at the forefront of low-emission alternative energies.

The IEVOA committee is broadly in agreement.


Recommendation 8
The Committee recommends that an equalisation of excise duty on petrol and diesel should be introduced so as to dis-incentivise the uptake of vehicles with diesel engines. This would have to be implemented in conjunction with other measures such as some of the EV incentives outlined and further incentives to encourage greater shift from the private car to public transport and cycling.

No committee comment.


Recommendation 9
The Committee recommends that an investigation into the viability of a ban on Combustion engines should be undertaken. As there are very few, if any, automobiles
manufactured in the State, and due to the fact that Irish consumers mainly drive automobiles that are manufactured elsewhere, there is a risk that Ireland will unwillingly be subjected to a ban of this nature in any event.

The IEVOA committee is broadly in agreement.


Recommendation 10
The Committee recommends that the Government should consider introducing mandatory quotas for zero/low-emission vehicles for car manufacturers from 2019

The IEVOA committee is very much in agreement.

Irish PHEV Sales – July 2018

Irish new PHEV sales are still up, to 142 units registered, and 0.53% market share in July, up 149% over July 2017.

The Kia Niro PHEV is still going strong since its launch last spring, and now leading the segment (both in July and year to date), thanks to 56 new registrations.


The used import market is still lead by the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. totalling half of July registrations (91 in total).

A total of 555 used imports and 575 new PHEVs sold so far this year, more than were ever registered previous to 2018 (see table below), showing that PHEVs have now gained a real interest in the eyes of the Irish public.


Irish BEV Sales – July 2018

For the 182 plate season, Irish BEV Sales are up a massive 247% in July, to 386 units (compared to 111 last year). The growth is solely due to the registration of 305 Nissan Leaf, showing the huge interest in this model, and probably an adequate supply! Not only it’s the first time so many new EVs are registered in a single month but the Leaf is in the Irish top 30 with over 1% market share. So far this year 915 new BEVs have been registered, which is more than the whole 2017 year (622 registrations in total).

Used imports registrations are much more stable, with a growth of 6.7% over last year, to 48 units.