The Irish Electric Vehicle Association [IEVA] has written to John Byrne, head of ESB eCARS, asking that the cost of DC Fast Charging at eCARS be reduced immediately to pre-Ukraine-war levels. Eamon Stack, CEO said, “Our members were shocked at the over 100% cost increase last year and even more upset at the failure to reduce the cost now. Our charges are among the highest in Europe.”
We believe the maintenance of this high cost is unreasonable for four reasons:
1. A substantial % of the power in the National grid is generated by wind, whose base cost did not increase with the tragic Ukraine war. The State is the major stakeholder of the ESB group and can distribute their substantial dividends to balance this injustice;
2. The speed with which eCARS increased the cost of charging, with the increase in the wholesale gas market, was not matched with an equivalent decrease when the wholesale price of gas market dropped. The wholesale price of electricity dropped 13.5% in April alone;
3. We strongly believe the increased cost will slow down the adoption of EVs which is contrary to Government strategy. eCARS prices are comparable with some commercial providers, significantly higher than Tesla [€0.47], yet their service is primarily funded by the State. The high cost is being used by EV detractors to undermine the transition;
4. To add insult to injury, the quality of the current enroute charging service does not match the high cost. There are too few chargepoints, too many out-of-service, and too slow – charge speeds often below 50kW rate.
For these four reasons, the CEO continued: “the IEVA membership strongly encourages eCARS to reduce prices immediately to pre-Ukraine war levels. This action, we believe, will encourage other chargepoint providers to also reduce their prices.”
We have also written to Minister Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport. We believe he needs to act on behalf of the major stakeholder at ESB Group to rectify the situation.