Meeting Reports

Reports from meetings


ESB Networks Innovation Event

5th December 2019 – By Simon Acton

On Tuesday 26th November I was invited to attend an ESB Networks Innovation Event at Explorium in my role as IEVOA Chairman.

Attendees included representatives from across ESB as well as many stakeholders such as SEAI, CRU, Eir Grid, MaREI, many other ESB Networks partners, energy generators, commercial customers and competitors, such as Gas Networks Ireland, and academic institutions such as DCU & UCC.

For context, while reading this please bear in mind that ESB Networks and ESB ECars are two different parts of the ESB group. ESB Networks have a much wider brief, ESB ECars are a customer of ESB Networks in the same way that Ionity, EasyGo and any other business requiring electricity network connection are.

By 2030, in order to meet Ireland’s challenging targets for emissions reduction and renewable generation, much of our transport and heat needs to be electrified.  Therefore, an important part of ESB Networks innovation brief over the coming years is to enable the decarbonisation if transport and heating through electrification.

Many innovative projects were discussed in areas including integration of renewables, customer engagement, asset optimisation, electrification of heat and transport, network flexibility and resilience, but for the purpose of this summary I’ll try keep to those most relevant to transport and therefore IEVOA.

You can read more about the ESB Networks innovation strategy here

Dingle Project

This is ESB Networks largest current innovation project, a 3 year community engagement programme basically using Dingle as a testbed to trial a number of technologies to gain knowledge of future network needs. In the mobility space this includes the leasing of 17 EVs for the community alongside use of battery storage and smart grid/charging capabilities including V2G (Vehicle To Grid).

You can read more about the Dingle project here

This will be a great shop window for EV adoption in rural communities so I’ve agreed that we can help publicise what they are doing and also consult on which vehicles they should consider trialing.

Energy Citizens

A new term for me, but apparently if you are thinking about how you use energy then you are an Energy Citizen. Further, if you are taking specific actions with regard to how you use energy then you are an Active Energy Citizen. So by driving an EV, maybe charging them at night when renewables are plentiful or generating energy from solar PV or upgrading even our homes to use heat pumps we are all being good active energy citizens and ESB applaud us. So, well done to us, we are making a difference!

Micro-generation

I learnt that June 2021 is the date by which it should be possible for consumers generating excess energy from solar PV and the like to get payment for what they put back into the grid and also that connection of these devices to the grid should be free of charge.

Workshop

The afternoon session concluded with a series of workshops, I participated in ‘Optimising the Network for the Electrification of Heat and Transport’.

This focused on getting feedback from participants on the following questions:

  • What do customers need to enable the electrification of heat and transport?
  • What areas need to be prioritised.

I fed in specifically around the need for reliable, cost effective and plentiful supply of fast and slow charge points and the need for public knowledge building initiatives around EV adoption and EV champions. In terms of prioritisation I highlighted the immediate need for rapid charging hubs and plentiful charging alternatives for those who cannot charge at home.

This session included lots of discussion from stakeholders around concerns whether the network will be able to support every house having an EV home charger and a heat pump, but the impression I got throughout the day was that ESB are taking this seriously and have specific projects looking at future network requirements required to support electrification of transport and heating in particular. This tallies with what ESB eCars have previously told us, basically, don’t worry about the network, it will be ready. So I felt reassured on this point.

The day concluded with an awesome lightning show ⚡️, I’d recommend a trip to Explorium for this alone!

There was a lot more in the day but I wanted to keep this brief-ish. If you made it this far, thank you! There I’ll be another similar event in 6 months so it will be good to gauge progress then.

If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to comment below or email chair@irishevowners.ie


IEVOA Press release – Introduction of charges on ESB Ecars fast charging network

23rd October 2019

On Wednesday (23-Oct-2019), ESB ecars announced details of the arrangements to be put in place for paid charging on their Fast Public Charging infrastructure.

The full press release can be found here: https://esb.ie/tns/press-centre/2019/2019/10/23/esb-ecars-introduce-pricing-to-support-ev-network-expansion

In summary:

  • Paid charging on 50kW fast chargers will commence on 18th November 2019
  • Users wishing to avail of this service will be required to sign-up from 29th October
  • Charging will be priced per kWh used with two price plan options:
    • ‘Pay As You Go’ at 33c per kWh
    • ‘Membership’ with a €5 monthly subscription fee at 29c per kWh
  • A limited time introductory offer (available from 29th October until the end of November) will provide the ‘Membership’ rate with no monthly subscription for 12 months
  • A €5 overstay fee will apply for charging sessions exceeding 45 minutes
  • Standard 22kW AC chargers will continue to be free to use for the time being
  • Pricing for High Power Chargers (150kW DC) will be announced once the first high power hubs are installed in early 2020
  • 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 the introduction of paid charging will be positive for current EV owners and will also support on-going EV adoption in line with the objective of the Climate Action Plan. Further, we commend the ESB in taking on board feedback from our members during the consultation process as the measures announced very much follow what the majority of our membership indicated they would like to see when surveyed earlier this year.

The advent of paid charging will allow expansion of the existing EV infrastructure in line with ESBs plans announced in late 2018, including the much needed introduction of high power charging hubs at key locations. It will also allow for the network to be fully maintained and upgraded as required into the future. Furthermore, paid charging opens the way for competition allowing other charge 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. Finally, overstay fees should help discourage blocking of chargers for excessive periods, hence the network should be more available to those who need it.

Feedback so far from our membership indicates that they may have liked to have seen a higher overstay fee and also measures to ensure that the overstay fee isn’t easily avoided by unplugging and restarting another session, but we are assured that these trends will be monitored.

We must also acknowledge that this is new territory in Ireland and a starting point. The ESB are open to revising these measures should this prove necessary. To this end the IEVOA will keep close contact with ESB ecars over the coming months following introduction of paid charging, passing on feedback from our members and ensuring their voices are heard.

Contact : pr@irishevowners.ie


IEVOA meeting with ESB Ecars – 23-Aug-2019

You may have seen elsewhere in the press today that ESB eCars will commence pay charging shortly. So this announcement is just to confirm the details shared with the IEVOA Committee when we met with eCars today.

Firstly, the announcement relates to Fast charge points ONLY. Pay charging for Standard charge points will come later, likely in 2020. So an announcement is to be expected during the next one to two months regards when pay charging will commence, how much this will cost and on what basis it will be costed. There will then be a short period, likely 3-4 weeks, to register for the service before the pay charging service will commence.
We understand that existing RFID cards can be used after being re-registered, and/or a new app to avail of the service.

This is all the information we can provide for now but hope to be able to share some more details early next week.

Fast charge point unit with Chademo, CCS and Mennekes type charge connectors.

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


LEV Taskforce meeting – 6th April 2018

4 representatives of the IEVOA , met with representatives of the LEV Taskforce, a joint DCCAE , DTTAS committee , charged with promoting the the changeover of car transport to sustainable vehicles . A representative of the SEAI also attended. Please find below the IEVOA report.

LEV Taskforce meeting – 6th April 2018

Please note that you can find previous reports from this taskforce on the page below:

 

LEV Taskforce Meeting Reports


LEV Taskforce Meeting Reports

 

September 2017

Three members of the IEVOA committee meeting attended the first meeting of the Low Emissions Vehicle Taskforce (LEVT) on September 7th 2017.

The LEVT is a joint Government task force comprising members of the DCCAE and DTTAS,jointly chaired by Kevin Brady of DCCAE and Louise Carey of DTTAS . Also present were
representatives from the SEAI, Ecars , SIMI, Dept of Finance and the CER.

After this meeting the head of Working Group 2, of the LEVT contacted the IEVOA Committee to request their views on the next generation of fast chargers in Ireland. Working Group 2 is concerned with developing a charging network in Ireland for BEVs. The IEVOA presented its perspective on the development of fast charging in Ireland to the Work Group on September 14th 2017.

Below are the reports of the meetings as well as the presentation presented to LEVT Work Group 2:

LEVT meeting report 7 September

LEVT Work Group 2 report 14 September

LEVT Task Force Presentation

April 2018

4 representatives of the IEVOA , met with representatives of the LEV Taskforce, a joint DCCAE , DTTAS committee , charged with promoting the the changeover of car transport to sustainable vehicles . A representative of the SEAI also attended. Please find below the IEVOA report

LEVT meeting report 6 April 2018


The IEVOA met the CER

On Monday 14 th August , A delegation of IEVOA committee members met the CER , including commissioner Garrett Blaney.

The IEVOA delegation , consisted of Frank Barr, Michael Sherlock, Dave McCabe, Cian Delaney and Joe McCarthy.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the forthcoming decision by the CER on the future ownership of the EV charging network.

The IEVOA delegation repeatedly impressed on the CER, that it had grave concerns about simply transferring ownership to the ESB in a unregulated manner.

In addition The IEVOA put forward that kWh ( units ) pricing was the fairest way, with penalties for overstays and hogging, pointing out the issues that time based pricing causes for older EVs etc. In addition, the IEVOA pointed out that originally , the retail electricity suppliers (Energia, Airtricity , etc ) were intended to have a role, selling charge point access, but that this concept seems to have disappeared.

The CER laid out concerns that EU rules effectively prevented them from continuing the present situation, and also made it difficult to place the chargers in the Regulated Asset Base (RAB), ie where funding would be continued to be drawn from the electricity users. EU rules basically state that EV charging should be commercial.

A further discussion was had on the issues around home charging and the introduction of smart meters, with the CER opining that smart meters may aid EV charging at home by soaking up currently unused night time green energy generation.

The CER did not provide any indication of the nature of their forthcoming decision, but their negative view on the RAB issue, strongly suggests that full unregulated transfer to the ESB is possible.

The IEVOA further suggested that a delay on the decision, might be better then taking the wrong decision as the nature of public charging may well change as range grows.

The CER stated that it was not their intention that any decision would damage or curtail the adoption of EVs and the commissioner was of the opinion that government needs policy in the area of EV charging and this was lacking. He pointed out that in many European countries, local authorities were involved in the provision of chargers, whereas this was not a feature in Ireland. The CER also stated that any decision would go to Government for comment. (It was not clear if Government approval was necessary or whether this was a formality )

He also outlined the history of the charger project, which was unusual in the European context as it was funded by the electricity users and was primarily a research/pilot project and was designed to evaluate the effect of EV charging on the distribution network.

The meeting concluded with the CER stating that we had raised points worth considering.

IEOVA representants : Cian Delaney, Frank Barr, Michael Sherlock, Dave McCabe, Joe McCarthy (From left to right)