SEAI Electric Car Grants & Incentives: The Complete Guide For Ireland

Audi e-tron ev


Electric Car: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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As has been the case in a number of international markets, the Irish government has also made available subsidies to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Ireland. The use of EV grants has already been a successful instrument in a number of international markets, to assist businesses and private consumers buy an electric car.

Norway, one of the first countries to adopt this finance incentive mechanism, is a case in point. The country is now a world leader in the penetration of electric cars. In fact, more than 75% of new cars sold in the country are EVs. Norway is not the only example for the successful implementation of subsidies for encouraging the purchase of plug-in electric cars. Closer to home, the United Kingdom has also demonstrated success in using incentives to develop the EV market. EVs now account for more than 20% of new car registrations in the UK.

Ireland is certainly getting serious about its ambitions for electric driving. In July 2022, the Irish government announced the creation of a new office, the Zero-Emission Vehicle Ireland (ZEVI) to assist with the country’s transition to electric driving. This transition to electric driving is already well underway in Ireland. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the country has 67,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) on Irish roads.

According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), as of September 2022, “So far this year 14,513 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 7,819 on the same period 2021 an increase of 85.6%”. Pure electric cars (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrids now command over 40% market share (BEVs: 14.30%/ PHEVs 6.79%). We can expect this to continue, as the EV market develops further.

Kia EV6 electric
The All-Electric Kia EV6 Is Eligible For The EV Grant In Ireland (credit: Kia)

Though the Irish government has introduced rebates for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), this article deals with the grants related to only passenger electric cars. As of the date of this article, there are more than 150 e-car models that qualify for the subsidy. Some of these include: the MG ZS EV, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Volkswagen ID.3, Kia EV6 and of course, the best-selling Tesla Model 3.

It is clear from the experience of the international markets, that the electric car grants are not permanent, with a continued change in the qualifying criteria and the value of the grant awarded. It is not unusual for governments to continue to reduce the available grant and narrow the qualifying criteria to reflect the developing electric driving market. Nor is it unusual for governments to terminate the grant scheme. We recommend taking advantage of the grants, while still available!

Though the plug-in car grants reduce the purchase cost of electric cars, it is worth noting that electric driving offers significant opportunities to save money, for both, businesses and households. Some of these benefits include:

  • Cheaper running costs per km compared to an internal combustion engine (ICE) petrol or diesel vehicle. In fact, driving a zero-tailpipe emission electric car can be lower than 10 cents per km!
  • Lower maintenance costs. EVs, in particular, pure electric cars, have far fewer moving parts compared to a petrol or diesel car. Therefore there is a lot less to maintain in an EV.
  • Electric cars have lower life-cycle costs compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.
  • EVs have lower local taxes and in some case even free or lower access to zones ring fenced to improve air quality in a city or town.

Also, there are other ways to reduce the financial burden of acquiring a car. We encourage businesses and families to take advantage of leasing offers, and other similar financial schemes to assist buyers in owning a car.

The application for the electric car grant is submitted by the dealer on your behalf. The value of the grant is reflected as a deduction in the purchase price of the new EV. The ZEVI electric vehicle grant scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland (SEAI). The Irish positioning of the electric car grant is quite similar to many other international markets, in that:

  • The EV grant is keen to encourage the purchase of pure electric cars (BEVs) and does not support the purchase of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
  • The electric car grant does not support EVs in the premium segment or EVs that are below a certain price band i.e. already affordable electric cars.

We at e-zoomed believe the above approach is prudent and is best positioned to support the adoption of electric vehicles in Ireland. The government also offers home EV charging grants. To learn more about electric car charging grants in Ireland, follow this link.


Key Parameters: EV Grant Scheme
Only available for new electric vehicles (EVs). Used electric cars do not qualify for the grant.
Only available for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). For those new to electric driving, a BEV is also referred to as a pure electric car. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) do not qualify for the grant.
Only available for M1 category passenger cars. M1 is defined as a passenger vehicle with no more than 8 seats (in addition to the driver’s).
Only available when purchased privately.
The maximum grant available is €5,000. The minimum is €2,000. There are a total of 7 bands for the grants (see table below).
EVs more than €60,000 do not qualify for the grant.
EVs below €14,000 do not qualify for the grant.
The above are based on Full Price. The scheme defines full price, as: full price of the vehicle to the customer includes all optional extras, paint, delivery and any other chargers but excludes any incentives such as grants or rebates.
However, the amount of grant to be awarded will depend on the the list price of the vehicle. This is the full non-discounted price in the absence of VRT relief or grant support.

Electric Vehicle Grant Values


EV Grant Banding
€14,000 to €15,000€2,000
€15,000 to €16,000€2,500
€16,000 to €17,000€3,000
€17,000 to €18,000€3,500
€18,000 to €19,000€4,000
€19,000 to €20,000€4,500
€20,000 to €60,000  €5,000
(Source: SEAI)

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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