Sales of electric cars in Ireland continue to grow, with more buyers moving away from petrol and diesel cars and making the switch to electric. There is now a good selection of electric hatchbacks available from brands such as MG, Renault, Volkswagen and Cupra, and more on the way from the likes of Opel and Peugeot before the end of the year.

You will pay more to drive most of these electric hatchbacks compared to a petrol or diesel car. But there are many benefits to going electric and zero tailpipe emissions mean cleaner air for us all, particularly in towns and cities.

The public charging network is growing but it’s advisable to have an electric vehicle charge point installed at home if possible for more convenience and the best rates.

Grants and Incentives for EVs

A few points to note about grants and incentives for buying a battery electric vehicle (BEV) in Ireland in 2023.

  • Annual motor tax for battery electric vehicles is €120 per year.
  • Under the Low Emissions Vehicle Toll Incentive, owners of battery electric vehicles can avail of reduced tolls on the M50 and other routes.
  • The SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) offers a grant for buying a new passenger car electric vehicle in Ireland of up to €3,500 when purchased privately. Approved EVs with a full price of more than €60,000 and less than €14,000 are not eligible for a grant. The grant amount depend on the list price of the vehicle. More information here on the SEAI website.
  • The Home Charger Grant offers up to €600 towards purchase/installation costs of an electric vehicle charging point at home.
  • EVs get VRT relief separate to SEAI grant support, typically reflected in the vehicle price displayed by a dealer. The VRT relief depends on the full cost of the vehicle. For more information on VRT, visit the Revenue website.

Best Electric Hatchbacks

Listed below are some of the best electric hatchbacks on the market in Ireland in 2023, including their WLTP range, which is an industry standard for the measurement of range driving on battery power. The WLTP measurement is good for comparing vehicles but expect the range to be less in real world driving due to factors such as your speed, driving style and weather conditions.

Price given below includes SEAI grant and VRT relief where possible. Always check the manufacturer’s website or with your dealer for the most up to date pricing for Ireland.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Renault Megane E-Tech
The Renault Megane E-Tech

Renault Megane E-Tech

Best for technology

The new electric Megane packs a punch when it comes to style with sharp LED lighting, crossover-inspired design cues and curves in all the right places. The cabin design and upmarket feel is another highlight with crisp digital screens and the availability of a super smart Google operating system that makes it very easy to plan journeys and get there with range to spare. Compared to an MG4, the new Megane E-Tech is not cheap. The 40kWh is available from €38,995 for up to 300km (WLTP), while the 60kWh is available from €43,495 with more power and range (up to 450km WLTP). Bonus points for the Megane’s 22kW AC charging, which is unique among rivals.

The MG4
The MG4


Best for value 

The MG4 has been grabbing all the headlines this year because it seriously undercuts rivals on price. Styled as a practical five-door, five-seat hatchback, it also looks pretty cool with its sleek, aerodynamic design and sporty features. There are two battery options available at the moment. The most affordable 51kWh is priced from €30,995 for up to 350km (WLTP). For more range (up to 450km WLTP), you’ll pay €34,495 for the 64kWh. It might not feel quite as polished as rivals like the Megane and the Born, but it is sharp to drive and has all the features you expect like a digital cockpit, app and the latest driver assistance features.

The Cupra Born
The Cupra Born

Cupra Born

Best for driving

The Born has been tweaked to offer a sporty and dynamic drive with a lowered, stiffer suspension, quick steering and the availability of an e-Boost performance package that ups power to 231hp and adds stronger front brakes. It looks like a hot hatchback and drives quite like one to, but without the noise and emissions. Inside there’s a unique sporty ambience and lots of equipment, though the infotainment is a somewhat fiddly touchscreen affair. The 58kWh offers up to 427km of range (WLTP) and is priced from about €40,000. There’s also a more expensive 77kWh with over 500km of range.

The Volkswagen ID.3
The Volkswagen ID.3

Volkswagen ID.3

Best for being a bestseller

The ID.3 has quickly replaced the Volkswagen Golf as one of Ireland’s favourite cars. These days you’ll see a lot more ID.3s on Irish roads. Volkswagen’s electric hatchback scores well for design, being built as a ground-up EV with a practical boot and plenty of space. Newly updated too for 2023. Inside it’s quite minimalist and has the same fiddly touchscreen as the Born. It also offers the same battery options with the 58kWh priced from €39,257 and up to 428km of range (WLTP). There’s also a 77kWh with up to 557km possible.

The Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Best for traditionalists

The Leaf is one of the pioneering electric cars with its own army of fans. It’s sold consistently in Ireland since launch. The latest version is available with two different battery sizes making it one of the more affordable of the electric hatchbacks, though the electric driving range is now a little off the best in class. Inside it has a conventional cabin design and a good sized boot too. The 40kWh is priced from €32,845 and offers a range of up to 270km (WLTP) while the 62kWh can manage up to 385km (WLTP) and is priced from €40,090.

The Citroen E-C4
The Citroen E-C4

Citroen E-C4 

Best for comfort

The E-C4 has a quirky design for a hatchback with crossover-inspired styling and can travel up to 357 km (WLTP) on a single charge from its 50kWh battery. Inside the cabin is not as salubrious as a Megane but it does have very comfortable seats. Citroen’s focus on comfort means it’s a relaxing drive too. Priced from €40,408.

The new Ora Funky Cat
The Ora Funky Cat

Ora Funky Cat

Best for style

The Funky Cat is a stylish electric hatchback with plenty of retro-inspired design cues that look like they’ve been borrowed from Mini. It’s certainly a car you will buy because you love the way it looks. Inside the cabin is very nicely appointed with lots of plush quilting and some very attractive two-tone interiors. It’s nothing special to drive and the boot is quite small but for cute chic, there’s not much else like it in this company. There are two battery options. Pricing starts at €33,495 rising to €41,495 for the larger of the two with a range of up to 420km (WLTP).


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year