Yearly archives: 2020

New on the market – Honda e   Recently updated !

By Guillaume Séguin – October 23rd, 2020

The Honda e finally landed on our shores in a version that is really close to the original prototype, and that’s really refreshing to see !

Honda e Advance in Crystal Blue Metallic

Like Mazda with the Mx-30 or the Mini Electric, Honda decided to put a small-ish battery pack (35.5kWh) and to keep the pricing contained to keep it affordable for the commuter that doesn’t need the 52kWh of a Renault Zoé battery. WLTP range is just 222km. The pack allows 7.4kW AC single-phase charging and 50kW DC charging. Its rear wheel drive configuration allows a tight turning circle. And combined with the swift acceleration (0-100 in 9seconds, and even 8.3 seconds for the Advance model), the one-pedal driving capability will make it one of the favorites urban EVs, along with the BMW i3 and the Mini Hatch.

No frunk but a very accessible CCS connector

Consequently the package is quite attractive with a very comprehensive equipment level for the asking price. The Honda e is very compact (3.89m long), unfortunately a small boot (and no frunk), and limited space in the back. But everything inside of this car is made so you feel good, it is a premium product with quality materials, attention to detail and loaded with technology (multiple screens, door cameras replacing the door mirros, etc.)

The drivers enjoys a large digital screen…
… and there are 2 more on its left!
Below the small boot is a handy space to store the charging cable.

The base version called simply “e” has the 136hp motor, and a decent kit with as standard alloys, climate control, connected navigation, front are rear parking sensors, reverse camera, adaptive cruise control or Smart entry & Start . The Advance version adds for an extra €3,000 a more powerful 154hp motor, the multi-view camera, the cool 230v 1500w outlet, a premium sound system, the camera mirror, parking pilot, plus other features.

No factory option for either of these versions, but the choice of 4 distinctive colors : pearl white, blue, yellow or grey !

Honda e – €29,995
Honda e Advance – €32,995

Prices exclude delivery charges, include VAT, VRT, VRT rebate and SEAI grant.

Photo credit: Simon Acton

The Honda e design has been inspired by the iconic Civic mk1

IEVOA Announcement Regarding 2020 Events

By Simon Acton – October 6th, 2020

As many of you know we had hoped to host a number of regional IEVOA meet-ups during the autumn. We have held off announcing any dates or locations in the hope that the COVID 19 situation would improve.

At this stage it is increasingly clear that this kind of event simply isn’t going to be possible this year. Our priority is the health and safety of our members and the general public so with a heavy heart we will be postponing until Spring 2021 at the earliest.

Regarding the EV Challenge, Dublin-Cork-Dublin or otherwise, this may still be possible as a socially distanced event but we are holding fire on this for now. We could do this anytime of year but with travel restrictions in place for some counties and likely to be extended we can’t plan this for now.

On the upside, we are going to arrange some online events through the autumn and winter, on Zoom, similar to how we hosted the AGM. This will include updates from the committee, contributions from guests from around the industry and Q&A sessions. More details to follow soon.

We hope this goes some way towards compensating for the disappointment of postponing the other events and giving everyone something to look forward to over the coming months.

Best regards,
Simon Acton, IEVOA Chairman

AC Charger Pricing Survey and ecars Meeting – September 2020

By Simon Acton – October 5th, 2020

In early September 2020 we asked our members for feedback on their experiences with the standard AC charging network since paid for charging was introduced in early August.

Please find the Survey Results here

Thanks to the contributors. The response rate to these surveys we’re sending are high and therefore significant. They are really important and help ESB Ecars and the charging infrastructure players to understand what us consumers need/want.

Irish BEV LCV Sales – Q3 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – October 3rd, 2020

We have never really covered light commercial vehicles (LCV) sales, just because these are relatively rare in a market where diesel is king. But lately, this is changing and no less than 327 100% electric LCVs were sold last year, mostly Renault Kangoo ZE.

This year sales are growing further and we should hit the 400 units mark. And if 2020 of course started slowly, surprising sales of Q3 (July-September 2020) did show again massive Kangoo ZE sales.
We don’t have the details of who bought these Kangoos ZE but just opening your eyes (and ears) you will probably have noticed that there are quite a lot of green AnPost vans going around (“192” and now “202” regs). Postal services have been purchasing Kangoo ZE all over Europe, thanks to reasonable purchase/lease prices and low running costs (and where the lack of DC capabilities do not matter). Fleet managers know!

If you are curious about the Kangoo ZE, check out our review here.

H = Half year / Q = Quarter
photo credit : An Post

Irish PHEV sales – September 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – October 2nd, 2020

New PHEV sales have reached a 3.57% market share in September, with 203 registrations recorded, a 3-fold growth over September 2019 (67 sales). No new entry this month but a top 5 made of 4 models launched this year (Ford Kuga, Volvo XC40, Kia Ceed and Audi Q5). A total of 2325 new PHEVs (2.77% market share) have now been registered in 2020, compared to 3618 BEVs during the same period.

Ford Kuga PHEV, leader in September

The interesting element is still to be looked on the used import side, with yet another record, as for the first time PHEVs passed the 500 units/month mark. representing now over 5% of all used vehicles imported into the Republic, thanks to the greatly reduced VRT compared to ICE variants of the same models.

Over 100 used Mitsubushi Outlander PHEV were imported in September

Irish BEV sales – September 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – October 1st, 2020

The month of September has been exceptional for dealers this year, with sales up a surprising 66%, mostly dues to attractives offers and delayed-by-covid purchases. Again this month BEVs shine with a progress of 477% (!) over September 2019. BEV Market share has reached 11.68%! (4.28% year to date)

Volkswagen ID.3

The newcomer (and leader!) of the month is the long-awaited Volkswagen ID.3. The first 238 units have been registered, and there is no doubt on the fact that it’s a mix of dealer demo cars and first customer orders, as the software issue bottleneck has now past, and thousands of ID3 produced over the last few months can now be shipped to their respective destinations. Behind the new Volkswagen is the Tesla Model 3, usually on top on the 3rd month of each quarter : it is now celebrating its first year in Ireland. It also take the year to date lead over the Leaf, with 41 extra units sold over the popular Nissan.

Used imports are in line with previous months with just 50 BEVs registered in September.

Tesla Model 3 – Year to date leader

Irish PHEV sales – August 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – 2nd September 2020

Another month, another great push for PHEVs. 228 new vehicles were registered with the Niro leading ahead of the Kuga. Since July and its launch in Ireland, 28% of all Kugas were Plug-in, which shows that if you get a PHEV variant in your range, these will sell more than just a few units. And this is how we’re getting PHEVs representing already 4.68% of the total market.

Kia Cee’d

More than the new car sales, the used imports have again hit a monthly record, with 406 vehicles brought into the Republic in August, almost 1 of every 20 vehicles imported. The hype for the Outlander seems to slow down but German Premium are getting huge interest, BMW being by far the most imported brand.

Peugeot 508 Estate

Irish BEV sales – August 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – 1st September 2020

On an August market almost stable (-4%), BEVs shine with sales up 72% and 296 units, brining the 100% electric cars market share above 6%! The year to date share is at 3.75%.

This month Kia is doing great with both E-Niro and E-Soul on top. followed by their cousin the Kona. The Zoé and Model 3 sold 27 models each. The Tesla is still 2nd year to date behind the Leaf but September (end of quarter) sales could give the American model the lead. And big up for whoever ordered a Renault Twizy 🙂

214 E-Sould have been sold so far this year

Used imports are back into negative territory after growth in July and are now becoming marginal, less than 10% of the level of new sales.

One more Renault Twizy on the road this month!

Guest post – Vectrix Motorbike like Space Station – needed swap of NiMh batteries for Li-ion (Part 2)

By John Doyle with Eamon Stack and Barry McMahon – August 8th, 2020

I’m John Doyle. The beginning of my Vectrix story goes like this:
I returned to motorcycling in April 2010 (after a 30 year hiatus) when I saw an Irish Times article on a new motor scooter, the Vectrix VX-1. I went on to purchase the ex-demo bike I had used for my demo ride.

After 3.5 years of ownership, the battery temperature sensor circuit failed having been exposed to water after driving through a flooded road. In turn, this prevented the NiMh battery pack from charging and it died. This resulted in a temporary halt to my EV dream.

John discusses Vectrix upgrade with Kevin McDonald

Early in 2014, I noticed a Vectrix parked on Amiens Street, Dublin. Intrigued, as these bikes are a rarity, I waited to meet the owner who turned out to be Eamon Stack. After a chat we exchanged contact details. It was the beginning of an enduring friendship and meeting of minds in the world of electric motorcycles and cars. It was also the start of putting my Vectrix back on the road. In March 2014, with Eamon’s help, we sourced 40ah CALB LiFeP04 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) cells from Anne Klopenberg in The Netherlands (New Electric) and a BMS kit from Matt Casey in Perth, Australia. (Ireland, The Netherlands, Australia, Poland – the EV community is global). We put my Vectrix back on the road with I creased range.

Eamon and myself are now part of a Vectrix community of 5 EV owners with Vectrix bikes we have successfully converted from NIMH to LiFeP04 and now to Leaf cells.

The Vectrix VX-1 was designed around the millennium and launched in 2006. It is a maxi- scooter similar to the Honda Silverwing or Yamaha XMax and many similar bikes very commonly used by European commuters. The Vectrix, unlike many Asian small electric scooters, was a high-spec bike using quality bike parts like Brammo brakes, alloy frame by Lockheed martin aerospace and Italian forks. Its brushless motor gave 24 BHP of torque (equivalent to 350cc ICE bike) and its regen braking, by reversing the throttle, was revolutionary. Even Eddie Jordan had a Vectrix!

John removes modules from Leaf battery pack

The Achilles heel of the bike was the battery pack – it was designed too early for the Lithium battery revolution and relied on a battery chemistry that was great for Duracell bunnies but inadequate for Vectrix’ big motor. After a rumoured $100m investment, Vectrix went bankrupt, twice and there inventory was purchased by in Poland set up by some emplyees from the original manufacturing plant.

While our early Vectrix conversions were a success, the real breakthrough for Vectrix enthusiasts came when a Nissan Leaf was kindly totalled by its owner. Eighteen modules of a Leaf pack, entirely by coincidence, fit snuggly into the Vectrix battery case and have the right total voltage for the motor. Our latest project has been delivered by Barry McMahon using cells from the battery pack of a Gen2 40kwh Leaf. The BMS for the Leaf modules is designed by Vectrixparts in Poland and the result is a bike with I creased power and range of 160km. This is ​60% better than the original design. Barry and Eamon now drive these beefed-up maxi scooters. Our friend Sean O’Callaghan is currently rebuilding a bike for his friend and plans to put Eamon’s old bike back on the road later in the year.

Our EV community has learned the skills to upgrade the battery of any EV. The two challenges for reliable upgrade: to source affordable Lithium cells and for someone in our worldwide EV community to develop a upgrade kit. As Sean, Eamon and Barry have Gen 1 Leaf EVs, they are keen to upgrade their Leafs. Please read our other article on “Leaf – how to quadruple your range”.

Vectrix with Leaf modules and BMS

Keeping EVs on the road, for as long as possible, is an important aspect to living a more sustainable lifestyle. EVs can outlast ICE vehicles threefold. While the early vehicles suffered from underdeveloped or short-range battery packs, this need not be a fait-accompli with no or excessively expensive options. It is important that the EV community demonstrate the reality that we can upgrade older EV to give them a fully and happy long life.

As we are all also EV car drivers, we share the delights of the EV community with the increased range of new and used EV cars for the public. However, we note that unlike the automaker sector, the motorbike sector has been very slow to design EVs. The only maxi-scooter alternative to the Vectrix is the BMW C-Evolution (BMW’s only e-bike to date). In the mainstream motorbike market, Harley-Davidson have the Livewire and Zero, the Tesla of motorbikes, have a good range of powerful bikes at different levels. Our concerns is that the price premium of EV motorbikes is 50% over their ICE equivalents and there is no Government grant to soften the financial hit.

Four upgraded Vectrix maxi-scooters with Kevin

We invite anyone interested to campaign for the introduction of a €3k EV grant for motorcycles, equivalent to the grant available in UK and most EU countries.

New on the market – Peugeot e-2008

By Guillaume Séguin – 7th August 2020

After the e-208 (and the 3008 PHEV as well as the 508 PHEV), Peugeot keeps developing its plug-in range this year with the much anticipated e-2008.

Just like for the e-208, the e-2008 is a derivative from the ICE version, with the same 136hp motor, 50kWh battery, and a logically slightly lower WLTP range (310km vs 345km) as its smaller sister. And exactly like the e-208 it has only a very few aesthetic changes, such as the body colored grill and the dichroic badging. It goes from 0 to 100kph in just 8.1 seconds, and can charge on DC at speeds of up to 100kW, but just 7kW on AC (11kW tri-phase is a €390 option).

e-2008 GT Line

The great thing about the e-2008, is that it is (again, just like the e-208) not just an expensive trim, limiting is popularity, but a range of 4 versions : 4 trims, just like the ICE version, from the frugal Active to the sporty GT.

The e-2008 Active offers already a great basic kit, with climate control, alloy wheels called “Elborn” (yes that’s the name of a Seat EV – still better than Mini SE’s “Corona” wheels), leather steering wheel, LED headlights, 4 USB sockets, rear parking sensor with 180° Camera (that’s front and back), 7 inch central screen with Android Auto and Apple Carplay.

e-2008 Active

The Allure adds larger 17 inch wheels, the fancy 3D i-Cockpit, rear privacy windows, front parking sensors and other features. The GT Line has a larger 10′ infotainment system with navigation, black roof, more powerful LED headlights with the claws design, a frameless electrochrome rear view mirror and the GT adds handsfree access, Adaptive cruise control with lane assist, 18 inch wheels, smartphone induction charging and Alcantara seating.

GT Line and GT version have the claws signature

If the range is not best in class, the price is very reasonable for a family SUV. At € 38,135 in its top trim, it is still cheaper than the Kia e-Niro (€39,495) and the Active version is just €2,000 more expensive than the base Leaf (SV 40kWh) which has a similar kit but a bit less range, and slower charging capabilities. Find out more about the e-2008 on

Peugeot e-2008 Active – €31,845
Peugeot e-2008 Allure – €33,785
Peugeot e-2008 GT Line – €36,315
Peugeot e-2008 GT – €38,135

Prices include the battery, VRT relief, SEAI grant and exclude metallic paint and delivery charges

Irish PHEV Sales – July 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – August 5th, 2020

This is a record-breaking month for new PHEV sales in Ireland, with 751 new registrations recorded, and 3.5% market share, almost as many as BEV sales.

Peugeot 508

This month, 30 different PHEVs were registered, a record number. But on that, there were no less than 6 new PHEVs entering the market ! 37 BMW X1, 15 Audi Q5, 8 Peugeot 508, 3 Audi A6, 2 Ford Transit Passenger and 1 VW Passat CC.

Audi A6

The leader this month is the Ford Kuga PHEV helped by a price very similar to the diesel version and many other PHEVs are very competitive in regards to their diesel equivalent, helping further sales to buyers who did not necessarily thought about getting a car with a plug !

Ford Transit Custom

Used imports are also growing rapidly with 384 units registered (+110%). The Mitsubishi Outlander is back in the lead.

Irish BEV Sales – July 2020

By Guillaume Séguin – August 4th, 2020

With a new semester, and new registration period (202) come surprises in EV Sales. The BEV market is now up 5% to 771 registrations in July in a market down 14%, which means once again, a growing market share of 3.53% (up from 2.97% in July 2019) for 100% Electric cars.

Surprisingly, the Renault Zoé is at the top of the charts in Ireland in July with 112 sales, bringing the small French car up to the 6th position so far this year. The Kia E-Niro is also doing pretty well with 109 units up 114% over last year. The Leaf comes 3rd and cements its year-to-date lead over the Kona down 57% this month.

Renault Zoé, on top in July

Down in the charts, we can note no less than 14 Porsche Taycan registered. Could the German saloon beat the Tesla Model S in 2020 ?

Finally, once again we have a brand new arrival this month : The Peugeot e-2008 family SUV, with its 50kWh battery pack, giving a good alternative to the Kia e-Niro or Nissan Leaf.

Peugeot e-2008

Used Imports are also finally into the greenzone, with sales up 16%, Year-to-date tally is at -40%.

9 reasons that have stopped electric cars from dominating the car market! Until now!

By Peter Bracken – 3rd August 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has made electric cars “more inevitable,” said Volkswagen Group of America senior VP of strategy Reinhard Fischer in an inhouse interview.

“The dramatic decrease in exhaust emissions during the early days of the pandemic, when most countries enforced strict stay-at-home orders, also showed the potential environmental benefit of electric cars. Municipalities will want to “hold on” to that cleaner air by enacting stricter emissions rules, Fischer said.”

There is a change coming so why has mass adoption of EV’s not happened yet?

So here are 9 reasons why EVs are not currently dominating the market:

1.Cost Myth: Even though from a total cost of ownership basis, EVs are cheaper than equivalent petrol/diesel cars, and significantly cheaper in a lot of cases, the sticker price is still a barrier for most people. EVs have the potential to be much cheaper to manufacture once the price of batteries comes down, and this has been happening very steadily. That’s why in about 3 years’ time we will see the crossover point where capable EVs are cheaper (unsubsidized) than fossil fuel vehicles, and EVs will start to dominate the market.

The €26,990 Renault Zoé, currently the most affordable EV in Ireland

2. Related to cost is the fact that up until now, only the mid- to high-end range of vehicles was served by EVs. SUV’s are in fashion globally right now and only now are Electric SUV’s being sold. The Hyundai Kona and the Kia E-Niro have been here a little while and are now joined by SUVs such as the Nissan Airya, Tesla S, Polestar 2 etc. This is a game charger in EV adaption.

Over 1000 Hyundai Kona Electric were sold in Ireland in 2019

3. The old guard do not want to make Electric Cars. Only for Tesla there would be no Electric Cars being made by the legacy automakers (the big guys, the household names!). Resistance on the part of legacy automakers: Legacy automakers have 100 years of expertise in internal combustion engines under their belt. They do not want to throw that all out in favour of a new technology they know a lot less about. They also have the problem of EVs eating into their entire product range. Tesla is forcing their hand here, but if they had their way, they would slow down EV manufacture indefinitely.

4. Car dealerships: not all, but many auto dealers are reluctant to sell EVs. For one thing, it will greatly reduce their service department revenue because EVs need almost no maintenance and are very reliable. But EVs are also harder for them to sell and they don’t understand them well. So, if you want to screw a car salesperson you know what to do!

5. Perceived lack of capability: lots of people are stuck in the petrol station paradigm and believe they need a vehicle with a range the same as their petrol/diesel car, even though they only need to fill up the fossil fuel car every week or two. They also believe they need to be able to recharge it in 5 minutes, even though EVs can be charged overnight, at work, or while at the supermarket. Where do you charge your mobile phone? When do you charge your mobile phone? Answer are the same for an EV!

6. Perceived lack of infrastructure: again, people believe they need to see giant charging stations everywhere before an EV would be practical for them. The fact is people already have all the infrastructure they need right at home, and that there actually are plenty of public charging stations around, they just don’t look like petrol stations. You really only see EV Charging stations when you’re driving an EV, when you drive an EV you see them everywhere!

When not charging at home/work, public networks offer 1000+ stations nationwide

7. The vast majority of people over-estimate how much driving they actually do. Very few people drive more than 400km (250 miles approx.) in one go on a regular basis and even if they do, safety advice from road safety authorities would suggest they should take a break every 2 hours or so. Perfect time to charge the car and recharge themselves (anyone for a coffee!). The car doesn’t have to be fully charged every time.

Any long range EV such as the 64kWh Kia e-Soul can bring you coast to coast in one charge

8. Vested interest in fossil fuels is significant. The oil industry is most certainly waging a disinformation campaign, not just against EVs themselves, the batteries being bad for the environment myth, but they are even behind the climate science denial movement. I would not say this interference is stopping EV adoption, but it certainly is slowing it down. Que the deniers!

9. Like any new technology, it will take time for EVs to ramp up in acceptance. Cars in particular will take even longer, because they are typically kept for over a long time. But EVs have experienced significant growth since 2011 and are nearing a steep point in the adoption curve. In 3 years, we will see quite significant numbers of EVs being sold, and in 6 years it will most probably be the majority. EV’s are already the majority of cars sold in Norway. So globally, we are not far away!

Fortunately, as more people’s friends, family, co-workers and neighbours drive EV’s, the true story is being told and the positive word of mouth surrounding EV’s is growing. The fact is everyone who drives an EV loves them and would never go back to a petrol/diesel car. EV’s are just better cars!

With the increased up take of electric commercial vehicles such as vans, buses, etc people are driving EV’s at work, experiencing the benefits first-hand and sharing these benefits with colleagues and in many cases converting their personal transport to EV.

That, combined with rapidly falling cost, increasing range, and expanded vehicle segments being covered will cause the adoption curve of EV to grow significantly in the next few years.

IEVOA Events Update

By Simon Acton – 31st July 2020

In early July 2020 we asked our members for feedback on which events they would like to participate in for the remainder of the year, COVID-19 permitting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who took the time and effort to participate, this is very much appreciated.

Survey Results

We received 232 responses in total with averaged results indicating preference for the suggested events in the following order:

  1. Autumn Meet-Up – Cars & Coffee Style – 72.5%
  2. Best EV Photo Competition – 60%
  3. Christmas Social – 60%
  4. 500km EV Challenge – 57.5%
  5. Photo Rally – The 32 Counties Challenge – 55%

We also received 63 suggestions of which 52 actually related to events. Other suggestions and feedback on the survey have been noted.

The 52 events related suggestions can broadly be categorised as follows:

  1. Regional Meet-Ups – 19 respondents indicated a preference for more regional based EV meets with a variety of locations and formats suggested.
  2. EV Challenge – 15 respondents indicated support for some form of EV Challenge through a variety of different ideas and formats.
  3. Charging Explainer – 8 respondents requested some sort of event relating to gaining more information about charging, whether that be home or public chargers, but also drawing in information about complementary home energy solutions such as solar PV and battery storage.
  4. Presentations – 6 respondents indicated a preference for more online informational events and presentations, particularly for new owners.
  5. Demonstration – 2 respondents suggested some form of public demonstration of EVs to generate publicity, possibly directed as government.
  6. Track Days – 2 respondents suggested some sort of track days for trying out EVs, either their own or cars provided by manufacturers.
Cars & Coffee event

Analysis & Planning

Firstly, for the purpose of planning and considering the COVID-19 restrictions still in place we have decided not to plan any events before September.

Regarding the ‘32 Counties Photo Rally’ which we have run in every previous year, considering the considerable time it takes to complete this challenge, where we are already at in the year, the waning number of participants over the past two years and feedback from the survey we have taken the decision to rest this event for the time being. We wonder if this event is now less relevant and indeed less of a challenge with many longer range EVs now on the market.  We will however consider it again for 2021 come the next AGM. We will however still run the ‘Best EV Photo’ competition as this involves considerably less effort and we love seeing pictures of your EVs in exciting locations or situations!  A trophy will be awarded to the winner at next year’s AGM.

With a clear appetite for an Autumn Meet-up and so much input from our members about regional events we have decided that we would like to plan an EV meet-up in each of the four provinces in late September or early October. Since we are currently working on a re-branding exercise we would also like to take this opportunity to relaunch IEVOA. As part of this we will therefore be offering some free IEVOA merchandise to members who attend these events.  More information, dates and venues to follow on this.

Regarding an EV Challenge, the 500km Lucan-Cork-Lucan EV Challenge has been well supported over the past two years and there is a clear appetite to run something similar once again.  We must however emphasise that this IS NOT A RACE and there will be strict rules in place to ensure that it is not treated as such.  This year we will run the event in three categories for BEVs based on battery capacity: up to 24kWh, 25-40kWh and 41kWh and above.  We will also allow challengers to participate on the basis of time (elapsed total journey time) or efficiency (total kWs consumed).  Trophies will be awarded at next year’s AGM for the winners in each of the six categories.  More information, dates and venues to follow on this.

500km EV Challenge

We will look into the idea of some sort of Christmas Social event or events later in the Autumn, once we know where things stand with COVID-19.  We would like to do something but only if it is responsible to do so.

If you got this far, many thanks for reading. There were a lot of great suggestions and we will keep these in mind for the future but considering our limited resources and means we have decided to focus on the above for the time being. We will provide more details of all events soon.

Best Regards,

Simon Acton, IEVOA Chair.

New on the market – Renault Captur E-Tech 160

Did you know that Renault was the first manufacturer to sell a plug-in electric vehicle? The Kangoo Elect’road was actually a range extender BEV (Like the BMW i3 Rex), launched in… 2003. Around 500 were sold but since this model, Renault has denied any sort hybrid options preferring to focus on BEVs for the last 10 years. In 2020 Renault launches an E-Tech series of products, available with a plug (Captur, Mégane Estate) or without (Clio). The Captur is the first to arrive in Ireland.

The powertrain is interesting: 160hp out of 2 electric motors and a 1.6-liter petrol engine, that can work in parallel or series, with a very innovative clutch-less gearbox (similar to what Renault uses in their formula 1 vehicles), with 4 gears for the engine and 2 gears for the electric motor.

The battery pack has a capacity of 9.8kWh, for WLTP range of 50km, and can charge at up to 3.7kW on a type 2 connector (in 3 hours). It will take a bit over 4 hours on a 3-pin household socket. The boot is slightly affected by the hybrid equipment, with a floor that’s not as low as int he ICE version (but that can still conceal charging cables underneath)

Renault Captur E-tech boot
The 10” fully digital display is standard

In terms of technology, this Captur has the best of what Renault currently offers: A 10” digital driver’s display, seen in the Zoé, a 9.3” portrait central screen and flying console (also seen in the Zoé), all standard, and optional adaptive cruise control with lane centring and stop and go function.

Flying console

As for the rest of the equipment, the Captur comes as a unique S-Edition trim, that is at the top of the Captur ICE range, with added flying console and fully digital driver’s display. Despite these extra features, the Captur E-Tech remains just under €30,000, at a similar price as the less powerful petrol automatic engines, and even €1,500 below the 1.5 dCi 115 automatic version! There is also an E-Tech launch edition, with a specific presentation, for €1,000.
At this price point, there are very few PHEVs available, the closest competitor being the Kia e-Niro, slightly larger but €3,000 more expensive and less powerful. The Hyundai Ioniq is €5,000 more expensive with better equipment, but without offering more interior space. This makes the Captur, already appreciated for its looks, a very good proposition for anyone looking for a family PHEV.

Renault Captur E-Tech 160 S-Edition – €29,995
Renault Captur E-Tech 160 launch edition – €30,995

Prices include VAT, VRT, VRT rebate and excludes delivery charges

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.

Contact :

Irish PHEV Sales – June 2020

The PHEV market is still outperforming not only the ICE market but also BEV market, whether it is for new registrations or for used imports.

BMW X5 45e

New registrations are up 8% but volumes are low like any month of June. However the more surprising fact is that used imports are up 87% (Diesel are down 53% and petrol down 38%). In June, for every 5 petrol import, 1 PHEV was imported, and the ratio is at 13 to 1 if you compare PHEV to Diesel. If 13 to 1 sounds still high for you, just think that in June 2019 that ratio was at 49 to 1 ! PHEVs are no longer a niche market.

This month, the BMW X5 is leading the new sales, and the Mercedes C350e is on top of the used import list.

Mercedes C350e

Irish BEV Sales – June 2020

Like any month of June, sales are very slow before the July registration plate change. As for previous months, sales are down due to Covid, and just like in the previous months, EVs are less affected than ICEs. BEVs market share is still up to 4.15% in June, and 3.58% in 2020 to date (vs 2.42% in H1 2019).

The Tesla Model 3 is still on top, with more surprisingly the VW E-Golf. Note that the flavor of the month is the luxurious Porsche Taycan, with a first unit registered.

Porsche Taycan

As for used imports, just 15 units have been registered, with is still much less that last year, however the end of the lockdown shows progress over April (1 registration) and May (4) of this year.

Guest post – Leaf Battery Upgrade – Quadruple the Range (part 1)

By Eamon Stack – June 21st, 2020

When Emile of Muxsan turned on his Gen 1 Leaf to display a range of 440km, I was truly amazed. I only need half that range in Ireland to make my Leaf more than a city car. Was this YouTuber for real? I discovered that Emile and his colleague Sjaak had developed a range of upgrade options for all Nissan Leafs and are working on upgrade options for other EVs.

Eamon’s Leaf at Carnsore Point

The problem is that Nissan, while offering rather expensive replacement battery packs, have not offered an upgrade. The EV community needed someone to develop a solution. In Europe, Emile Nijssen and Sjaak Bloemberg formed a cooperative, Muxsan, and have developed a range of options for community members. There is a Canadian option also (used by Robert Llewellyn) and others projects in development.

A small group of Irish EV friends have Vectrix VX-1 electric motorcycles and have had to upgrade their battery packs over the past 5 years. We are also Leaf owners. We decided to explore Muxsan options. We were not disappointed! Muxsan developed the software to tell a Leaf that its pack had increased in kWh capacity, for charging and discharge, and the hardware (CAM-bridge) to communicate with the Leaf. They had delivered a reliable solution. What’s more, their battery extension packs protect and extend the life of the more vulnerable Leaf packs.

Muxsan gives two options to increase range: 1. Add an extension pack in the boot; or 2. replace (swap) the modules in the battery pack with higher capacity modules. Or you can do both and get 440km range they call Leaf+. The extension packs come in two sizes: 9kWh or 18kWh.

Barry and I have opted for option 1. (18kWh) and Sean went for option 2. Sean has already completed his upgrade and boasts a range of 250km. I have booked in my blue 2012 Leaf for the extension pack in September. Barry and I will bring the car over on a trailer via Holyhead and Channel Tunnel. And we will bring back a kit to upgrade Barry’s 2011 Leaf in Ireland.

The cost of my upgrade is €5990, the same cost for Barry’s kit. No discount for first kit (more later). Sean had sourced his own 40kWh Leaf pack (from a breakers yard in Mayo) and went to Muxsan for training (Sean is an electronic engineer). His kit cost €1500.

Muxsan also offer an upgrade to the the AC charger, to three phase electricity, increasing the charging rate to 22kW. In addition, Muxsan supply a towing hitch for a Leaf. See

We will post an update to our experience in September. Look out for our next article on the Vectrix upgrade adventure and the latest upgrades using Leaf 40kWh pack modules.

Vectrix VX-1

If you are interested in getting an upgrade in Ireland, we could bring back more kits from The Netherlands and upgrade your Leaf after we complete Barry’s. If there is a bigger demand, we will work with IEVOA to develop a scalable model for Irish EV battery upgrades.

EVs can last three times longer than ICE cars. This reduces the annualised carbon footprint of the vehicle manufacture threefold. To date the limiting factor for EV lifespan has been the battery. While the million mile battery is the current hot topic for future EVs, Muxsan really offer a solution for many EV drivers in Ireland today.

Stay tuned for part 2, after the summer!
You want to contact the author for more information about this upgrade ? Email Eamon Stack :

Eamon’s Leaf at Carnsore Point

About Eamon Stack
Eamon Stack is a computer engineer, award-winning social entrepreneur, co-founder and leader of diverse organisations and campaigns including technology charity Enclude, MakePovertyHistory Dublin Rally, Slí Eile and Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition. He has been driving EVs for over 12 years.