WEDNESDAY 22 DECEMBER, 2021, A number of incidents have come to the attention of the Irish EV Owners Association relating to the process by which a new EV owner’s application for the SEAI grant isn’t applied to the car list price.

In more than one instance, the IEVOA has learned that grant applications have been processed incorrectly by the dealerships, resulting in cancelled car orders or no grant drawn down against the cost of ownership.

The SEAI grant scheme provides an attractive entry point for the adoption of EVs in Ireland. It is subject to change, and the onus is on the dealerships to provide good customer service when applying this grant to the cost of buying a new vehicle. This is particularly relevant with manufacturers who focus on online reservations.

A sample instance provided to IEVOA recently involved Tesla, who acknowledged a customer order, took payment but did not apply for the SEAI grant in a timely manner. The resolution provided to the customer was to either cancel the order, or pay the outstanding fee that would typically be bridged by the SEAI grant. In the opinion of IEVOA, this both provides poor customer experiences to prospective new EV owners, but also does not sit within the letter of the rules set out by the grant scheme.

In a statement to IEVOA, the SEAI noted future plans to automate the system by which dealerships apply for the grant on behalf of their customers.

It is the opinion of the IEVOA that highlighting these issues is the right thing to do as an association. It is also the opinion of the association that these instances should be rectified by the dealerships, as it is in their duty of care to provide the grant discount to their customers, particularly when these discounts are highlighted on the order procedure online.

If you are a prospective EV owner, or current owner, who has experienced issues with grant applications through dealers, we’d love to hear from you. We will provide feedback as appropriate to dealers as well as to SEAI.