We now offer EV chargers as an optional add-on with our solar panel installations. It's relatively straightforward and might add just a few hours to the overall installation time. PureVolt co-founder and team member Phil Teare gives us the low-down.
Adding an EV charger will cost around €1,400 to €1,600. This includes both the equipment and installation.
There's a bit of variation there as it depends on a few factors (location, exact charger model you pick, if any adjustments are needs to your fuse board etc.) We'd give you an exact quote for your home before you have to decide, and it's rarely very far outside those limits.
Yes. There is a €600 grant available from the SEAI, so that reduces then end cost to you to €800 to €1,000.
If you have no preference yourself, generally we would recommend either the Zappi or Ohme, and the prices above are based on that. Both are great, reliable car chargers and work very well with solar in particular (more about that below).
There are other brands, both cheaper and more expensive, and if you've another brand that you would prefer, that's no problem at all. We can install whichever make and model you would prefer.
Yes - we very much believe in both EVs and solar for the benefit of the planet (and the great economics of them too). Ourselves, we have both solar panels and electric cars.
For our site inspections, we have a Hyundai Kona electric car. We opted for the big battery version (450 km range) and find it ideal for Ireland. We have Zappi car chargers integrated with our own solar panels.
Almost always yes.
Most EVs sold in Europe are fitted with a "Type-2" charging socket, which is the type home chargers would have as standard.
If you are unsure though, please feel free to send us the year, make and model of your car (or just a photo of the charging ports) and we can double-check for you.
Car chargers are normally mounted on an outside wall. They vary in size a bit, but most are roughly a box that's 45 cm by 30 cm (varying by model). Obviously, you want it to be close to where you park your car (cables tend to be 5 m - 7 m depending on the charger, though please ask if a longer option might be required), but the electricity supply needs to be considered too.
The charger will need to be directly connected to your fuse board, so the most common is to mount on the outside of your house for electricity supply. Mounting to things like garden walls can be more difficult due to electricity supply directly to the fuse board, but never hesitate to ask, and we'll let you know what's possible.
Tethered means it has a cable permanently attached to the charger. Untethered means there's no cable, and you use the cable that comes with your car.
Myself, I'd always recommend tethered. I've owned an EV since 2019, and have a tethered charger. It's just so easy and handy. I can just grab it when I walk past and plug it in 2 seconds.
Untethered is a tiny bit cheaper (€20 to €30). But I find using the cable that comes with the car a pain. It's always buried in the boot (as you rarely need it), and coiling it up afterwards to get it back in the case is a pain too.
A standard electric car charger uses about 7 kW of power, which is about the same power consumption as an electric shower. Adjustments are not normally needed for your house or its electricity supply (though we will always check this for you before installing anything).
If your fuse board is particularly old/has issues, or your house is missing electricity safety items (like proper earthing) then they would need to be fixed. This is not normally a major job and is something we can do for you during installation. We will always check this and let you know if anything is needed.
Please note, this is not something specific to car charger installations. This is universal for electricians installing anything - be that car chargers, solar panels, or doing any other work. If, for example, the earthing is missing then any electrician would have to correct that before they can sign off any new work, and getting such safety items up to standard is no bad thing.
A home car charger normally puts out about 7 kW of power. That means:
Here we are calculating based on a standard-size battery in a new Nissan Leaf (40 kWh) or Hyundai Kona EV (39.3 kWh).
Here we are calculating based on the larger battery options in a new Nissan Leaf (62 kWh) or Hyundai Kona EV (64 kWh).
If you've looked into EV charging times, you'll have seen countless stats of 10% to 80%, 5% to 80% and alike. The reason they quote up to about 80% is because charging tends to slow down above that as the battery approaches full.
Generally, electric cars will charge at the fastest speed possible, up to around 80%. After that, the car starts to slowly reduce the charging speed. This helps protect the battery from damage, and increase its lifespan. So, take the figures above with a pinch of salt for getting to exactly 100%, as that will depend on how much your car slows down the charge for those last few percent. Still, you should be very close to full in those times without a problem.
Yes, you can charge an EV from a normal 3-pin plug, and most EVs come with a special cable to do that (often referred to as the "granny cable").
The disadvantage here is that it's very slow, taking 3 - 4 times the time of a standard home electric car charger.
Standard 3-pin plug sockets will normally charge an EV at around 2.2 kW, which would mean:
Again, that's a new Nissan Leaf (40 kWh) or Hyundai Kona EV (39.3 kWh).
The larger battery versions of a new Nissan Leaf (62 kWh) or Hyundai Kona EV (64 kWh).
Connecting solar panels to your car charger is a great thing to do. Your EV is a great tool to soak up the excess electricity you are generating. It's something we do ourselves here at PureVolt too, and there are a few things to consider if you'd like to go down that route yourself.
All chargers will work with solar panels. If your panels are generating spare electricity whilst you are charging your car, then that excess power will be going into your car battery.
With the standard car charger mode, the charger uses a fixed amount of power. If there's spare solar power, then great, but if the charger needs more than that, it will just pull from the grid to keep the car charging at the set pace.
Certain car chargers (like the Zappi and new Ohme EV chargers) also have a special solar panel mode. When you select this mode, the EV charger will adapt the charging rate so it only uses spare solar electricity. If you are not in a rush to charge, and want to make sure the power in your car is 100% green, this is a great feature to have.
Do let us know if this feature is one you'd like, and we'll make sure the charger we recommend has it built in.
To generate enough power to charge an electric car, you'll need a full roof-top-sized array of solar panels. A few ground-mounted panels would not produce enough power to make much impact on the big-capacity batteries that electric vehicles have.
That would depend on the number of solar panels you have, the size of your car battery and how much electricity you are using.
You have a 5 kW array of solar panels (12 X 410 W panels) on a south-facing roof (typical for a large 3-bed or 4-bed house)
You've a standard sized new Nissan Leaf / Hyndai Kona, which have ~40 kWh batteries
An average day in mid summer might generate you about 20 kWh of electricity (blue sky days a bit more, cloudy a bit less). So in theory you could fill your 40 kWh battery in 2 average mid-summer days (0 - 100%)!
That, of course, assumes you are using no other electricity at all. Realistically, if you are doing low mileage, you can use your solar panels' excess electricity to keep your EV topped up over the summer. But if you are doing larger mileage or are out during the daytime, then the main's electricity will be the main source of power.
In winter, the production from solar is much lower, and houses tend to use more electricity, so realistically most people will use mains electricity to charge then.
Let's start with your car. Almost all electric cars have two different charging ports:
This is the lower speed port. You'll use that when you plug into a normal plug socket, your home charger, or chargers you see in supermarket car parks/town centres etc.
Almost all cars sold in Europe use what's called a "Type-2" socket for this.
This is the super fast port. You'll normally only use that on motorway service stations where they have the super fast chargers.
Most cars here use a "Combined CCS" socket for this, but some (notably the Nissan Leaf) use a "CHAdeMO"
You can plug your car into a higher power charger, no problem, but your car will set its own top limit for the charging power it takes.
For example, our Hyundai Kona (2019) will take up to 7 kW in the AC port and 100 kW in the DC port. We can happily plug it into a 20 kW AC charger, but it will still only charge at 7kW.
There are four main types of chargers you might use as an EV owner in Ireland.
Please note I've slightly over-simplified below. There are always exceptions to the rule with new EVs and chargers etc. but I hope for those new to electric cars this will be a very useful starting point.
This is an adapter that will plug into your normal household three-pin socket. Yes, you can charge your electric car from an normal plug socket. But it will be slow, taking around 19 hours for a full charge for our standard Nissan Leaf / Hyundai Kona.
It's something that we rarely use, perhaps only when on holiday in a rented house/B&B.
Most people who buy an EV get a home charger installed because it is much quicker, as well as far more convenient, than using the granny cable.
Yes, you can get a 3-phase home car charger which will put out up to ~21 kW. But that would only work if your house has a 3-phase supply (which is very rare), and lots of cars will not charge on AC power at such rates anyhow.
For most people, this is the vast majority of their charging. We would highly recommend a night rate meter. It's very easy to set so your car only charges overnight on cheap electricity, which makes it great value as well as better for the planet.
These are the standard electric car chargers you see in places such as supermarket car parks and parking spaces in town centres.
In Ireland, most of them are provided by ESB (more about suppliers below). Generally, you need to bring your own cable with you to use them.
Do note here that the max charging rate your car will take through its AC port (very likely a "Combo CCS" port) varies a lot between models. It doesn't matter if you plug it into a 20 kW charger if your car limits its max intake to 7 kW.
We don't use them often, just really for the odd top-up when out and about. They are handy when in town/shopping as you can charge up at the same time. It's very rare we'd use one for a full charge though.
You find these mostly at service stations on motorways and major roads. These are the super high speed chargers.
In Ireland there are two main networks - ESB (cheaper, normally 50 kW), and Ionity (more expensive, up to 350 kW).
Do note here that although there are 350 kW chargers available, most cars will limit their charging speed to 100 kW - 150 kW.
We use these when travelling long distance. They are fast enough that by the time we've got a coffee and sandwich, and stretched the legs, there's plenty of charge in the car when it's time to go.
Tesla has its own network of chargers, that they call Superchargers. These are DC chargers using the Combo CCS port which most EVs have.
Although technically most other car brands would work with Tesla Superchargers, Tesla do not currently allow non-tesla cars to use them.
There are moves from the EU to make all chargers available to all EVs. Some Tesla chargers in the EU now allow any make to use them, so this may change soon here in Ireland.
To use public EV car chargers in Ireland, you will need to use an app to pay for your usage. Myself, I use a combination of two different apps.
I would recommend signing up for ESB E-Cars connect. ESB has the largest network of chargers in Ireland, including most of the standard speed chargers you find in town centres, car parks and alike.
They offer the best value, with rates varying from 34 to 46 cents/unit (depending on which price plan and charger speed you opt for).
They have a good app, which will show you live information on which chargers are available and if any are out of order and alike. You can also start and stop charging from the app - very handy.
I'd also recommend getting the card too - that's credit-card sized, and you can tap it on the side of any ESB charger to start and stop it. The app works 90% of the time from my experience, so great to have the card for the odd issue. Quick side note here - ESB E-Cars Connect are super helpful on the phone too. You can call them any time and they can turn the charger on for you remotely, a handy fallback just in case.
Most of their high-speed DC chargers max out at 50 kW (though some higher power ones are popping up now). That's the only chink in their armour in my experience, and why I sometimes use Ionity.
For the long journeys, I occasionally use Ionity as they have a good network of 100 kW+ chargers on the motorways - handy when I want to just have a quick stop then keep going.
They are much more expensive though at around 71 cents/unit, so really I only use them when I'm in a rush.
I'd recommend the app here. Yes, you can just pay by card at the charger, but I've found that temperamental at times. You can sign up for pay-as-you-go with their app, then just start and stop chargers within that. Their app also shows all the locations, live info on which chargers are currently available and alike.
You can use chargers for as long or short amount of time as you like. The charger logs how much power you've used, then you are charged for those units of electricity.
Please note though, you have a maximum time to unplug once your EV battery is full. Some charging networks will fine you for leaving a full car plugged in blocking a charger if you leave it there for too long!
Thankfully, most of the apps will tell you how full you car battery is, so you can easily keep an eye on it.
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