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.
The IEVOA met with ESB Ecars on Thursday 19th March 2020 to discuss about its contingency plan during the COVID19 pandemic, but also the current and future infrastructure.
o Maintenance and operation of the network is continuing as normal, the situation will remain under review
o Customer Call Centre is business as usual and have the ability to work remotely also
o ESB will stay in communication with IEVOA as the situation develops
o IEVOA will assist with messaging their members to ensure compliance with HSE guidance in relation to Covid 19 when using chargers. ESB to share planned posts or communications.(Done)
Climate Action Fund Project
· AC replacement programme
o 130 chargers replaced since October – replacements will continue as issues arise with the chargers
o Uptime significantly improved with the replacement programme (≥ 95% network uptime)
o Some issues with a small number of new chargers and this is being investigated with the manufacturer
o Dublin Port first trial unit of new ‘compact’ fast chargers – these units will be used to replace up to 50 existing AC chargers over the next three years
o The first of these installations are planned for the coming weeks
o Focus will be on routes and large towns such as the M/N3
o As they will be using existing electrical supply they will prioritise connector power based on the number of vehicles connected – this will be clearly labelled on the online map
· Multi charger site hubs
o Galway Plaza, M6 and Kilcullen, M9 are the first multi charger sites but the current set up is temporary. – One of the existing fast chargers will be replaced with a charger which can charge one car at 150kW or split the charge between two cars. Meaning three cars can charge simultaneously at those locations. We expect delivery of the 150kW chargers in the summer
o These type of sites (50kW + 150kW) will be quicker and require less infrastructure to build than the 4-8 vehicle hubs and so it is expected that more of these will be delivered in 2020
o Once final commercial details are worked out with site hosts an announcement will be made on the first phase of hub locations. IEVOA will be issued with these locations in advance of them being published. ESB to confirm likely timing
Introduction of pricing for AC charging
o As stated previously, ESB had intended to introduce pay for use of the Standard AC chargers following a replacement programme, given that over 130 chargers have been replaced to date and that availability levels on the network have improved significantly, ESB had intended to introduce pricing in the coming months. However, these plans are now on hold in light of current COVID-19 situation. ESB are reviewing IEVOA’s feedback on the service and potential pricing options, and will provide at least a month’s notice of the introduction of pay for use of the Standard AC network.
o Given the number of locations and types of use case for the Standard AC chargers it is not intended to introduce an overstay fee. However, the option will be retained to introduce one if the network isn’t being used appropriately.
Overview of the results of the IEVOA survey
o IEVOA provided an overview of the results of their member survey (c.200 respondents)
o IEVOA to provide a distilled version of the comments for written response by ESB
o ESB to provide a written response for each of the chargers which were identified as having an issue
o ESB to look at issues around the accuracy of the information being provided on the map, particularly availability
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
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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)