'Why I Made the Switch to an Electric Car.'
12 Jan 2022
4WheelGuide: Your roadmap to buying a new or used car
According to the SIMI electric car sales will double again in 2022 with 53% of motorists saying they’d like to own one by 2030. EVs now make up 8% of the overall car market, but Ireland would need to hit 100% of car sales every year to reach the government’s target of 900,000 EV’s on the road by 2030.
What factors are hindering uptake? We humans are known for our resistance to change – an almost primal instinct to protect ourselves against external threat, or the fear of loss of routine, control and certainty. EV technology is also still developing and Ireland's charging infrastructure, although greatly improved (check out these nifty stations all around Ireland here) needs broadening. Price is also a barrier - with the cheapest models hitting the mid 20k range.
That said, we’re going to make the leap at some stage and electric cars have notable perks when it comes to running costs as well as providing a clear conscience around dirty emissions. As part of our 4WheelGuide series, we caught up with Jason Walsh who's been a proud EV owner since 2019. Jason told us why he switched, his experience so far, and what advice he has for someone thinking of doing it.
1. Why did you switch to an electric car?
The two factors I considered was cost, both running costs and maintenance, and I love a gadget so it was nice to have something relatively new technology wise.
2. Did you apply for an SEAI grant?
No, as my EV was an import (from Northern Ireland) it was applied at the VRT desk. Very nice feeling paying €0 for an import.
3. How did you find your car; did you do research before you bought it?
I work in energy so have a decent understanding of electric vehicles but yes, I did a lot of research before buying. For me, the ideal distance was 200km (driven not what’s in the brochure) so the eGolf gives me that most of the time – notwithstanding when my wife has the heat full blast.
4. Tell us about the model, what attracted you to that particular one?
Volkswagen eGolf – they’re not made anymore as they’ve been replaced by the ID3. I liked it because it looked like any other Golf on the roads, and I like the look of them. There are much more options available now that I feel look good than there was even 2-3 years ago.
5. What do you like most about it?
Automatic driving with regenerative breaking – I rarely need to use the brake pedal now. A great safety feature and reduces wear and tear on the brake pads.
6. Have you noticed a big change in your running costs?
Huge. I used to spend €40-50 per week on diesel. I would say it is about €10 per week now, through a mix of charging at home, work and on the public charging network. This is travelling approx. 400km per week – obviously this has fallen since COVID and working from home.
7. What’s been a disadvantage?
Long journeys – my wife’s family are from Donegal, and we cannot make it on one charge – other EV models can but mine cannot. We bring our petrol car for these trips.
8. For you, what are the biggest differences between an electric car and your previous cars?
I have no need or want to visit a petrol station. Charging is done when I am doing something else, whether it be sleeping, working, or having lunch.
9. What’s the experience been like charging it?
I am very lucky that there are EV charger at the office. I haven’t had very much hassle in this regard. The only thing I would say is waiting for a charger on the public network – it would be great it you could pre-book a slot.
10. Would you recommend others to make the switch?
100%. I would challenge people to think about how often do you do long journeys? For me it’s 8-10 times a year, so for 95% of time my eGolf is my companion on the roads.
11. What would you say to someone considering an electric car in 2022?
Try before you buy. There are some options out there to try an electric car out and see how it fits your lifestyle and needs.
So if you’re in the market for a car loan why not contact your local credit union who will come back to you with details on the interest rates they currently offer? Alternatively, to see what the average car loan rate will cost you – check out our handy loan calculator.
Keep an eye out for #4WheelGuide across Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more great advice on budgeting, choosing and buying your car as well as design and style ideas and inspiring stories – so you can gear up for the car of your dreams.