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Road Users

Electric and hybrid vehicles

Answers to frequently asked questions on electric and hybrid vehicles.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

It is powered by one or more electric motors using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device.

It uses more than one means of propulsion. At the moment, that means combining a normal petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor.

It is a cross between a hybrid car and an e-car so has both electric and conventional means of power.

It is a hybrid car which provides a way to plug the battery into an electrical outlet for recharging while parked.

Electric vehicles (EVs) must undergo the same rigorous safety testing and meet the same safety standards required for conventional vehicles sold in Europe as well as EV specific standards for limiting chemical spillage from batteries, securing batteries during a crash, and isolating the chassis from the high-voltage system to prevent electric shock. In addition, one safety concern specific to electric vehicles is their silent operation so vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists may be less likely to hear an electric vehicle than a conventional vehicle. New electric vehicles now must have an acoustic alerting system onboard. 

List of some of these vehicles are available on the ESB website.

You will need to contact Revenue who are responsible for the importation of vehicles into Ireland. They will explain the process involved and documentation required.

Yes. The National Car Test (NCT) currently tests hybrid or electric vehicles. For more guidance see NCT Manual.

You will need to refer to your owners’ manual or contact the original manufacturer. You can also view a series of YouTube videos which outline how to charge an electric vehicle.

Available charging points currently on the market.

Electric and electric-hybrid vehicles which are almost silent particularly at low speeds present a danger to vulnerable road users, e.g., cyclists and pedestrians, particularly those with visual or hearing impairments. AVAS emits an automated sound to alert vulnerable road users of the approaching vehicle.

Under EU Regulation (EU) No 540/2014, the fitment of AVAS to pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles becomes mandatory from 01 July 2019 for new types of vehicles and from 01 July 2021 for all new vehicles. Any AVAS fitted voluntarily ahead of these dates must comply with the applicable requirements as set out in this regulation.

You will need to contact original manufacturer or authorised distributor.

These are vehicles which use non-traditional fuel sources as a means of powering them which include:

Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles

Source of power

Electric

Electricity consumed

Gas

Hydrogen, natural gas including bio-methane, compressed natural gas (CNG)

Liquid

liquified natural gas (LNG), liquid petroleum gas (LPG)

Mechanical

On-board storage or sources including waste heat

 

e-Cars and motorbikes or hybrid versions are all considered to be mechanically propelled vehicles and therefore must adhere to the same regulations* that apply to other Irish vehicles.

S.I. 190 of 1963 – Road Traffic Construction, Equipment and Use Regulations 1963 

S.I. 5 of 2003 – Road Traffic Construction and Use of Vehicles Regulations 2003 

S.I. 189 of 1963 – Road Traffic Lighting of Vehicles Regulations 1963

S.I. 556 of 2020 – EU Road Vehicles Type Approval Regulations 2020 

S.I. 614 of 2015 – EU Two or Three Wheeled Vehicles and Quadricycles Type Approval Regulations 2015

*These regulations are in original format and amendments can be viewed on http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/