Monthly archives: July 2020

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.