Are you thinking of making the switch to electric but not sure where to start? Looking to find out more about the best small electric cars on the market right now in Ireland?

In this article, I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite small electric cars available in Ireland in 2022. I’ve included key points like the battery, range and an indication of the price of the car.

Why Electric?

Bear in mind that electric small cars are still more expensive to buy than their petrol or hybrid counterparts, but they are cheaper to run over the long term with lower energy and maintenance costs.

Zero tailpipe emissions from electric vehicles 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 peace of mind. With a charge point installed at home, you will never have to visit the pumps ever again. You can leave your home every day with a full ‘tank’ of battery power!

Electric vehicles can be charged at home or using a public charge point
Electric vehicles can be charged at home or using a public charge point

Grants and Incentives for EVs

Before we get started, a few points to note about grants and incentives for buying a battery electric vehicle (BEV) in Ireland in 2022.

  • 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 an electric vehicle in Ireland of up to €5,000. The grant amount depends on the list price of the vehicle. A grant eligibility price cap of €60,000 applies.
  • The Home Charger Grant offers up to €600 towards purchase/installation costs of an electric vehicle charging point at home.
  • Electric vehicles registered in Ireland are eligible for relief from VRT up to a maximum amount of €5,000. Relief has been removed for any electric vehicles above €50,000.

6 Best Small Electric Cars

Now check out some of the best electric city cars and superminis on the market in Ireland in 2022! Please note I have included the 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. Always check the manufacturer’s website for the most up to date pricing for Ireland.

The new Peugeot e-208 is a stylish small electric car
The new Peugeot e-208 is a stylish small electric car

1. PEUGEOT E-208

Peugeot launched the new 208 range in Ireland in 2020, along with the first ever electric version of the famous French supermini – the new Peugeot e-208. The beauty of the e-208 is that it shares pretty much everything with the rest of the 208 range. So what you get is a very stylish small car, with a beautiful interior finish and cool digital technology provided by Peugeot’s unique i-Cockpit. The e-208 uses a 50 kWh battery that produces 136 hp and can drive electric for up to 340 km (WLTP). With a 7 kW wallbox installed at home it will take about 7.5 hours to charge the e-208. Rapid DC charging is also possible using the standard CCS adaptor. Charging at the maximum 100 kW, the e-208 can be 80% charged in 30 minutes. In Ireland the e-208 is available in three trim levels offering varying levels of style and equipment.

Battery: 50 kWh
Range: Up to 340 km (WLTP)
Power: 136 hp
Price: From €28,730

The Opel Corsa-e offers a simple introduction to electric motoring
The Opel Corsa-e offers a simple introduction to electric motoring

2. OPEL CORSA-E

The Opel Corsa-e shares its 50 kWh battery and much of its engineering with the Peugeot e-208. The styling and interior design is plainer and more conventional, which may be appealing to some buyers. In Ireland, Opel sells the Corsa-e in two trim levels, starting from the SRI trim, which has a high specification and upscale look. The 50 kWh battery produces 136 hp and can drive electric for up to 337 km (WLTP). It will take just over 7 hours to charge the Corsa-e at home with a 7 kW wallbox. Rapid DC charging is also possible using the standard CCS adaptor. Charging at the maximum 100 kW, the Corsa-e can be 80% charged in 30 minutes.

Battery: 50 kWh
Range: Up to 337 km (WLTP)
Power: 136 hp
Price: From €31,164

The Renault Zoe is a well established small electric car in Ireland
The Renault Zoe is a well established small electric car in Ireland

3. RENAULT ZOE

The Renault Zoe is well-established in Ireland, having been sold here since 2014. It’s come a long way since then. The latest version launched in Ireland in 2020. It’s sold with a 52 kWh battery, which gives a range of 395 km (WLTP), making it the best in this company for range. The Zoe’s secret sauce is its special Chameleon charger, which means Zoe can accept the maximum power rate from any charger up to 22kW, so you can charge faster in town for example at one of the more plentiful 22kW public charge points. All but the very entry model now come with a CCS adaptor, allowing 50 kW DC fast charging for the first time. It will take about 45 minutes to get 80% battery power charging like this, 7 hours for a full charge with a 7kW wallbox at home, or just 2.3 hours at a 22kW charge point. It’s sold in three trim levels in Ireland.

Battery: 52 kWh
Range: Up to 395 km (WLTP)
Power: 135 hp
Price: €27,550

The MINI Electric is the most fun to drive small electric car
The MINI Electric is the most fun to drive small electric car

4. MINI ELECTRIC

The MINI Electric launched in Ireland in 2020, starting a new chapter for the famous 3-door hatchback. The MINI Electric uses a smaller capacity battery than some of its rivals, giving a range of 233 km (WLTP). It is more powerful however and easily the most fun to drive small electric car. The range does limit its appeal however so it’s best thought of as a second car or a city car. It’s also not the most practical small car! But because it’s a MINI it’s still utterly desirable for its iconic good looks and high quality, quirky interior. 50 kW DC fast charging is possible, giving 80% charge in 36 minutes. It can get a full charge at home in just over 4 hours in 7.4 kW AC charging from a wallbox.

Battery: 32.6 kWh
Range: Up to 233 km (WLTP)
Power: 184 hp
Price: From €28,215

The Fiat 500e is the electric version of the classic Italian city car
The Fiat 500e is the electric version of the classic Italian city car

5. FIAT 500E

The famous Fiat 500 goes electric for the first time in Ireland in 2022. The new Fiat 500e is available with the choice of two batteries. It’s the most affordable small electric car in the market with the 23.8 kWh battery – but it offers a range of just 180 km (WLTP), which seems very limiting unless the car is purely for city driving. Of more interest is the Fiat 500e 42 kWh with a range of up to 320 km (WLTP). Based on the classic Italian city car, the Fiat 500e is one of the smallest cars in this company. But the modern 500 is a bit of an icon already, and the 500e is a fun and chic small electric car. It’s also available as a convertible. The new Fiat 500e can fast charge at 85 kW, charging to 80% in 35 minutes. It will take about 6 hours to charge to full at home from a 7kW wallbox.

Battery: 23.8 kWh / 42 kWh
Range: Up to 180 km (WLTP) / 320 km (WLTP)
Power: 95 hp / 118 hp
Price: From €24,995 / €26,995

The Honda e is an upmarket small electric car
The Honda e is an upmarket small electric car

6. HONDA E

The Honda e debuted in Ireland in 2020, the brand’s first electric model to go on sale here. It shines for its futuristic design and technology, with a high class interior that really stands out for next generation digital technology. The Honda e uses a 35.5 kWh battery putting out 136 hp, or 154 hp in the Advance model. A range of 220 km (WLTP) limits the Honda’s appeal beyond urban environments, but it has been specifically designed for the city and it makes sense when you look at it. Because it is tiny! Fast charging at 50 kW is available through a CCS charging adapter with the opportunity to add 80% of charge in 30 minutes. From a 7.4 kW wallbox at home, the Honda e will charge to full in just over four hours.

Battery: 35.5 kWh
Range: 220 km (WLTP)
Power: 136 hp
Price: From €29,995

Useful Links and Resources

Low Emissions Vehicle Toll Incentive

Find out more about how much money you can save on tolls with an electric vehicle.

SEAI

The SEAI has a huge amount of useful information about buying an electric vehicle, including owner’s stories, grants, and a running costs calculator.

ESB eCars

Find out more about charging your electric vehicle in Ireland using the ESB public charging network, including the types of charger available and their location.

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes