Walking you through the financial help available in Ireland to car owners taking the plunge on a full electric vehicle (EV).
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grants
EV grant scheme
SEAI offers grants towards the cost of a new EV or even a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), but we will focus on the pure electric cars with zero emissions here. If you are a private buyer, then there is a sliding scale for the amount of grant available, as long as the EV’s list price is €14,000 or greater – and almost all EVs are much more expensive than this.
So, for EVs worth €14,000-€15,000, you get €2,000, for EVs worth €15,000-€16,000, you get €2,500, for EVs worth €16,000-€17,000 you get €3,000 and so on (the grant rising €500 for every €1,000-bracket of new-car prices), until you get to any EV worth €20,000 or more (which is nearly all of them at the time of writing), when the maximum grant of €5,000 towards its list price becomes available. There’s a similar scheme for commercial vehicles, although the maximum grant available here is €3,800, not €5,000.
EV domestic charger grant
You can redeem up to €600 of the costs for the purchase and installation of a home charger through this SEAI grant scheme. This applies to any EV bought after January 1, 2018, new or used, although the car needs to be parked off-street in a location associated with the residence applying for the grant, the charger must be linked to that residence’s fuse board and the property must not be associated with a previous EV grant or charge point offer.
EV public charging grant
This is not one private EV-owning individuals can apply for directly, but as part of the Climate Action Plan there is a target to have 936,000 EVs on the roads of Ireland by 2030. This will need a significant increase in public charging infrastructure, meaning local authorities and councils can apply for this grant to install chargers in car parks and on the street. The council should identify itself areas of high demand for these charging points, but as an EV owner you can contact your council, express your interest in a public charging point and make sure the council is aware of the scheme. The grant is for up to €5,000 for up to 75 per cent of the costs of installing a charging point, and as councils can fit two charging points into, for example, one lamppost, that means up to €10,000 is available for installation in one location. This grant scheme will last for five years.
There are two more SEAI grant schemes, for dealerships and importers, which can also benefit EV owners. You can find out more about all the grants available at seai.ie.
Any electric vehicle registered before December 31, 2021, with an Open Market Selling Price of no more than €50,000 will be granted Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief of up to a maximum €5,000. As long as the EV in question costs no more than €40,000, you will be entitled to the full grant amount. Vehicles costing between €40,000 and €50,000 will receive a reduced level of relief, and any EV in excess of €50,000 won’t be eligible for any VRT relief at all.
Lowest rate of motor tax
All zero-emission vehicles – that is to say, vehicles that have no tailpipe CO2 emissions at all, which means pure EVs only – qualify for the lowest annual rate of tax of €120 per annum. For any cars putting out 1-50g/km of CO2, which is most PHEVs and some range-extender-equipped battery electrics, that figure rises to €140.
Owners of electric vehicles can see discounts on various road toll fees across the country. Across the course of a year, this can add up to €500 in toll savings, thanks to a 50 per cent reduction in tolls for zero-emissions vehicles.
Anyone who runs a company electric car does not have to pay any Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) tax at all, whereas those running cars that use combustion engines can face BIK bills of up to €2,000 per annum. This negation of BIK for EVs will be in place until December 31, 2022.
Accelerated Capital Allowance
This is a tax relief scheme that allows commercial operations, such as farmers, sole traders and businesses, to deduct the full cost of investing in energy-efficient equipment and vehicles from their end-of-year profits, thus incentivising the purchase of commercial EVs to reduce tax bills.