Electric Vehicles Explained

If you're looking to find out more about Electric and Hybrid cars you're in the right place - nobody in Ireland has sold more than us. Here's everything you need to know!

What Are Electric Cars?

An Electric Car (EV) is essentially an automatic vehicle with an electric motor powering it. A fully electric car does not run on or have a petrol or diesel engine. With an Electric Car, when you place the car in 'drive' mode, the vehicle accelerates just like an automatic vehicle. There are no gears in electric or hybrid cars. They are all always fully automatic cars.

When the accelerator is pressed, power is transferred from the battery to the electric motor. The motor is powered resulting in the drive shafts turning the wheels. When the car brakes, the car begins to decelerate and the motor becomes an alternator, generating power. This power is then sent back into the battery.

What Are The Different Types of Electric Cars?

There are several types of electric vehicle (EV) available. Some run purely just on electricity, these are known as Pure Electric Vehicles - aka EVs. With new technologies there are now some electric powered engines that can also be run on petrol or diesel, these are called Hybrid Electric Vehicles - aka Hybrids.

  • Plug-in electric - EVs - This means that the car runs purely on electricity and gets its power when they're plugged in to charge - be it at home or using the public charging network. They don't use any other source of fuel, petrol or diesel, and don't produce any emissions like traditional cars. These are all in the lowest road tax bracket.
  • Hybrid-electric - Hybrids -These run mainly on fuel like petrol or diesel but they also have an electric battery too. This usually runs the car at slower speeds such as slow-moving traffic, parking, and reversing. Essentially the rule of thumb is that if the car is driving under 30km it is being powered by the battery - Once you go over 30kmh the petrol/diesel engine kicks in. The battery self-charges itself through regenerative breaking and these cars cannot be plugged into an electricity source and rely solely on petrol or diesel for energy.
  • Plug-in Hybrid - These cars run on electricity but also have a traditional petrol/diesel engine too. If you run out of charge, the car will switch to using fuel. When it's running on fuel, these cars will produce emissions but at all other times when they are running on electricity, they will be emission-free. Plug-in hybrids can be plugged in as normal to an electricity source to recharge their battery.

How Does an Electric Engine Work?

Electric cars function by plugging the car into a charge point. Like all electrical devices, it then begins to take electricity from the grid and charge the car. The car stores the electricity in rechargeable batteries that then power an electric motor, which turns the wheels as a normal fuel-enginge would. Electric cars accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional fuel engines – so they feel lighter to drive as there are no gears to go through.

What Is A Hybrid Car?

A hybrid car is a car that uses more than one means of propulsion - that means it combines a petrol/diesel engine with an electric motor too. The main advantages of a Hybrid car are that it consumes less fuel and emits less CO2 than a comparable petrol/diesel-engined vehicle. Hybrid cars have a conventional engine, an electric motor and also a battery. Hybrids are categorized as either strong or mild and this depends on the amount of battery power that they have. With more battery capacity, strong hybrids can drive further than mild ones on electric power only.

EV Charging​

Home and Public Charging

​Plugging your electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle in at home is the perfect way to ensure your vehicle is ready when you need it. When on the go, a range of public charge points are available all across the country.

ChargerTimeCapacity
Home Charging6 - 8 Hours100%
Public Charging (AC)1 - 9 Hours (depending on car model and range)100%
Fast Charging (DC)~ 30 Minutes80%
Rapid Charging~ 6 Minutes100KM Range

What Is an EV Driving Range Like?

No two EV models are the same! While some manufacturers will share battery technology, once that battery is installed into the chassis of the car a lot of other factors then come into play. How far you can travel on a full charge depends on the vehicle and several other factors. Each model has a different range, a different battery size and differing levels of efficiency. The perfect electric car for you will be the one you can use for your normal journeys and know that charging isn't a long-term issue. We 100% believe that everyone will be driving Electric Cars in the not too distant future and luckily for you, here at Windsor we work with Ireland's leading EV brands so we have the EV to suit your requirements.

​Different Types Of EV Charger

There are three types of plug-in EV and hybrid charger. Slow, Fast and Rapid.

Slow Chargers

A slow charger is the standard 3-pin plug socket found in Irish homes. These are best for overnight charging. They have an output of up to 3kW and are usually used for home charging. A slow charger will usually take 6 to 12 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle or 2 to 4 hours for a plug-in hybrid.

Fast Chargers

A fast charger is a standard outdoor electric vehicle charger. It provides a power output of 7 to 22 kW and will usually fully charge an electric vehicle in 3 to 4 hours. Fast charger connectors are tethered with two types of socket, dependent on your vehicle.

Rapid Chargers

There are two types of rapid charger. AC and DC. An AC Rapid charger will provide a power output of 43kW while a DC Rapid charger will provide at least 50kW. Both chargers will replenish an electric vehicle battery to 80% capacity in around 30 - 60 minutes depending on battery capacity.


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EV batteries - What does capacity mean? 

Battery capacity is a measure (typically in Amp-hr) of the charge stored by the battery when it is at 100%. It is determined by the overall mass of active material contained in the battery. The battery capacity represents the total amount of energy that can be extracted from the battery under certain specified conditions. 

EV Driving Range - What Does kWh Mean?

Kilowatts (kW) are a unit of power that indicate how much energy an electrical device needs to work. A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of energy (it shows how much energy has been used), e.g. a household 100 watt bulb uses 0.1 kilowatts each hour. 

EV Breaking - What Is Regenerative Breaking?

Moving vehicles have lots of kinetic energy. When the brakes are applied to slow a car, all of that kinetic energy has to go somewhere. In petrol/diesel cars this energy goes to waste. In Electric Cars (when you break) this kinetic energy is captured, converted, and reused then to power the car! Free electricity, YES PLEASE!


How Far Can An EV Travel On A Full Charge?

Aha - the 64million voltage question!

No two EVs are the same! And like Petrol/Diesel cars, a lot can depend on the amount an EV vehicle can travel with a full tank battery. Put simply, when you see the max mileage advertised this is based on ideal driving conditions. But like their petrol/diesel counterparts, the full range of a full battery can be lessened based on things such as weather, the number of adults in the car, driving conditions, style of driving etc.

An EVs range is dependent on the battery size (kWh). The higher the EV battery kWh, the more power it has and also the further it will travel. Here are examples of how far some electric cars we stock will go:

  • Nissan LEAF ~ 62 kWHrange ~385km ~ equivalent to a journey from Dublin to Galway and almost back again, on one charge!
  • Renault ZOE ~ 52 kWhrange ~377km ~ equivalent to a journey from Dublin to Galway and almost back again, on one charge!
  • Peugeot e-2008 ~50 kWHrange ~310km ~ equivalent to a journey Dublin to Wexford and back again on one charge!

What Are The Parts Of an EV Called?

Electric Vehicles have a whopping 90% less moving parts that a petrol or diesel car. Petrol and Diesel cars are otherwise known as ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars. Here's a brief breakdown of the major parts that keep an EV motoring:

  • Electric Engine/Motor - Provides the power to rotate the wheels. It can be DC/AC type however you will find that AC motors are the most common.
  • Inverter - This converts the electric current in the form of a Direct Current (DC) into the Alternating Current (AC)
  • Drivetrain - All EVs use a single-speed transmission which then sends power from the motor to the wheels.
  • Batteries - This stores the electricity required to run the car. The higher the battery kW, the higher the driving range will be.
  • Charging - This is the location that houses your plug inlet which you then connect to an outlet or EV charging point to charge your battery.

Electric Vehicle Grants

Find out the value of grant available for your electric vehicle, how to apply and what vehicles are eligible.

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Home Charger Grant

When you purchase an electric car, you can claim up to €600 towards a home charger unit.

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Benefits & Savings

These grants make the switch more affordable and are an incentive to switch to green living and vehicle ownership.

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