There has been a dramatic increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road in Ireland over the past decade, and the trend is set to continue. The increase in the popularity of EVs is largely thanks to the cost competitiveness of electric vehicles, more environmental awareness, and a greater amount of EV models on the Irish market.
Those thinking of making the switch to electric should also think about home charging. A home EV charging point is similar to a public charging point, of which there are hundreds across Ireland. But there are a number of added benefits to home EV charging. Let’s first look at the different types of EV charge points that exist, and examine which one suits you best.
The slowest charging method of all is Level 1, however it is also the most accessible.
Level 1 charging, also known as trickle, uses standard 120-volt 3 prong household power sockets. Because these are available in every home, it is the most convenient way of charging your EV.
Despite the fact that the majority of EVs come with this standard charger, many people will opt for a faster charger due to the slow speed of charging and the limited range that an overnight charge will allow.
Level 2 EV Home Charging
Level 2 charging may be a better option for EV owners who wish to charge their vehicle at home, and Level 2 charging is also common at work and public charge points.
The larger power output of Level 2 charge points results in much quicker charging times, allowing people to easily charge their electric car overnight to 80%, ready for the morning commute without any concerns about running out of battery.
Level 3 EV Home Charging
Home charging is not suited to Level 3 chargers, which is by far the quickest method for electric vehicles, but it is not compatible with the majority of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Level 3 charge points are usually found at motorway service stations and in some car parks, but are less common than their Level 2 counterparts.
These rapid chargers can power a car’s battery to 80% in under 30 minutes, but cost much more than Level 2 chargers.
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How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?
If you have a Level 2 charging point installed, the time it will take to charge your vehicle will depend on the power output of your charging point and the battery size of your vehicle.
Because of the different factors involved, the charging times can vary. To charge a medium-sized EV (65 kWh battery) from 20% to 80% with a Level 2 11kW charger, it would take around 4 hours.
EV Charging Level
Charging power output
Small electric vehicle*
11 hours 35 mins
18 hours 51 mins
26 hours 5 mins
3 hours 30 mins
5 hours 50 mins
8 hours 5 mins
2 hours 25 mins
3 hours 55 mins
5 hours 30 mins
1 hour 5 mins
1 hour 45 mins
2 hours 30 mins
*The times in the table are approximations for charging from 20% to 80%. For the purposes of the illustration, small vehicles have a 40 kW battery, medium EVs have a 65 kW battery and large EVs have a 90 kW battery.
Why Level 2 Chargers are Ideal for Electric Cars in Ireland
Level 2 is ideal for most people with an electric vehicle, as this type of charging allows people to fully charge their electric vehicle in a matter of hours, usually overnight, when electricity is cheaper. This type of charging uses a 240-volt supply, which is much faster than Level 1.
With Level 2 charging, EV owners can rest assured that they will be able to reach their destination the next day. If unexpected journeys arise requiring a higher battery percentage than envisaged, you will be more likely to reach your destination without any need to visit a public charge point.
Can I survive on Level 1 charging alone?
It is technically possible to survive on Level 1 charging alone, despite the dramatically slower charging speed.
Some people with a new EV attempt to get by with Level 1 charging for a number of weeks or months before deciding to upgrade and install a Level 2 charger.
For larger EVs, it may take over 30 hours to fully charge with Level 1, however for those who don’t make daily journeys, and have the ability to charge their vehicle for a number of days before a long journey without eating into the battery, Level 1 charging could actually suffice.
But for the majority of people, Level 2 will be the easiest, most efficient and most practical method of charging their electric car battery.
The Benefits of Electric Vehicle Charging at Home
The financial benefits of charging your electric vehicle at home are one of the main reasons people opt to install an EV charging point.
In short, charging your electric vehicle at home can save you money as you can take full advantage of off-peak rates offered by your electricity provider.
Convenience and Autonomy
Home EV charging offers users autonomy which public charge points cannot offer – the simplicity and usefulness of charging your electric car overnight so that it is ready to go the next morning cannot be understated.
While there are hundreds of public charge points for electric vehicles across the country, they might not necessarily be on your way to your destination.
Electric cars are better for the environment as they do not require fossil fuels to function. Charging your vehicle at home can further increase the environmental benefits of owning an EV, as a solar PV system can be utilised to provide renewable electricity for your car.
Home EV charging features like a remote control allows you to power up your electric vehicle with the click of a button, and gives you more control over when to charge your EV, and for how long.
How EV Home Charging Works
How electric car charging works depends on the type of charger you have installed in your home. Level 1 and 2 chargers are by far the most commonly used, and they work in the same way that public car charging points do.
Level 1 charging is slow due to the decreased power supply, as it relies on a standard household electrical outlet which provides 120 volts or 12 amps of power. Level 2 charging provides 240 volts or 24 amps of power. Instead of plugging into a standard wall socket, EV owners need to install a dedicated charger that connects directly to the electrical wiring system.
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How much does an electric car home charger cost in Ireland?
The cost of an EV charger and installation will vary depending on the power output of the charger, the brand, and the quote you receive from an electrician. With the €300 SEAI grant, it could cost between €800 and €1,200 to install an EV home charger in Ireland.
The simplest method for getting your EV charger installation is to get a quote from a trusted electric car charger installer. Alternatively, you can also buy EV chargers online, and then get a fully qualified electrician who has registered accordingly with Safe Electric Ireland to carry out the installation process.
A Wallbox Level 2 EV charger (7.4 kW) is roughly €600, while a 22 kW Level 2 charger from the same brand is being sold for over €1,100 on Amazon.
The EV charger installation process is relatively simple, and can be typically carried out in a few hours, depending on a few factors such as the type of home charger being installed.
Government Grants for Electric Car Chargers
Since the start of January 2024, a grant of up to €300 is offered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland towards installation costs and the home EV charger itself. The grant is open to everyone – even those who don’t own an electric car. Home charge points in Ireland can also be used by visitors or at rented properties.
To receive the grant, a Safe Electric Registered Electrical Contractor must be used. To be eligible, the SEAI requires that your EV is parked off-street (at home) and that the charger is connected to the back of the home.
Properties which were previously associated with an EV home charger payment are not eligible. Those which have availed of the free ESB Ecars home charger pre-2018 are also ineligible.
EV Home Charging Models Ireland
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