Electric Vehicle Show to drive electric dreams

Podcast Ep 189: Derek Reilly from Nevo and Derek McDermott from Bank of Ireland Finance on why prospective car buyers need to attend the Electric Vehicle Show.

If you are curious about buying an electric vehicle then there is one place you need to be in the coming weeks. Bank of Ireland and electric vehicle information platform Nevo will hold the first Electric Vehicle Show 2024 on 17 February.

The event will bring together cutting-edge automotive technology, innovative sustainable solutions, and an electrifying atmosphere all under one roof.

“People want to know as much as they can before making that switch to an electric vehicle. It’s a big change, it’s a different style of fuelling the vehicle and it’s a different mindset when driving the vehicle”

On the day, potential car buyers will get to view and test drive more than 50 of the latest electric vehicles from more than 20 of Ireland’s leading automotive brands.

Attendees will be able to get up close and personal with a wide selection of electric vehicles, from premium cars to family SUVs, city cars to saloons, and everything in between.

They will also hear from industry experts from finance, insurance, home and  public charging, alternative e-mobility solutions and much more.

The Electric Vehicle Show is set to be an immersive experience, offering attendees a glimpse into the future of sustainable transportation. Other partners include AXA and ZEVI (Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland).

For more information about the Electric Vehicle Show and to register for your free tickets, go here

Switching to electric vehicles is all about education


There is much debate about electric vehicles that sometimes only adds to confusion. How good is their range? How expensive are they? Where are the chargers? Do they cost much to run?

The only truth that commentators can agree on is that electric vehicles are the future.

Derek Reilly is so enthusiastic about electric vehicles that he has led the creation of an entire online platform called Nevo aimed at cutting through the confusion and supporting informed purchasing decisions.

Nevo is Ireland’s first dedicated EV platform, offering a comprehensive range of services catering towards those who want to become informed on electric vehicle ownership, and also to those who are ready to make the switch to electric motoring. Nevo launched earlier in 2022, and has since captured the interests of the Irish public.

“People want to know as much as they can before making that switch to an electric vehicle. It’s a big change, it’s a different style of fuelling the vehicle and it’s a different mindset when driving the vehicle.”

Nevo’s own research found that people wanted an event that would help educate and inform their decisions. “50% of respondents wanted to see what’s the availability on models, types, shapes and sizes. And so that’s what the show is going to do, it will tick that box. We will have more than 50 vehicles all in one place in one day. The other 50% of the audience were interested in finding out about the infrastructure, about putting in place a home charger, where they will find chargers, what’s going to happen in the next six to 12 months and understanding the connection with solar. So it’s a whole electric vehicle ecosystem as well.”

Bank of Ireland Finance is the largest lender in Ireland when it comes to buying cars and its managing director Derek McDermott explained how he has a full 360-degree view on the journey of buying a car from both the buyer and the seller’s perspective.

“Usually we come into it when the person has made the decision to buy. We’re seeing lots and lots of people choosing electric and plug-in hybrid and we’re seeing lots of activity.”

He said Bank of Ireland’s partnership with Nevo is critical. “The petrol and diesel space people understand intuitively. But there is a lot of road a person has to travel before they to decide to purchase an electric vehicle and we see the partnership with Nevo as strategic because we know there is so much that goes on before we get involved.”

Reilly said that the education aspect is essential, particularly when it comes to looking at home chargers, solar integration, the charging network, the grants that are available and more. “That’s why ZEVI (Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland) will be there. We will have talks and sessions featuring the manufacturers themselves to answer questions on battery health, residual values and what to look out for if you’re buying new or used.”

In terms of trends, McDermott said that in some cases electric vehicles are now selling around the same price as traditional combustion engine vehicles. The key benefit of electric vehicles, he says, is how they cost less over the lifetime of ownership. “With electric cars you can plug your car in and charge them at home between 11pm and 7am at half-price electricity or even better between 2am and 5am in the morning. The lifetime coast of an electric car compares very favourably with a combustion engine car.

“Price points for electric vehicles are coming down. So who knows what it will look like in 18 months or two years, but certainly electric vehicles are better value today.

“When buying an electric vehicle you need to look at the long-term costs of running it and that’s why this day in the RDS is all about meeting the experts. It’s as much about knowledge as it is about the cars themselves.”

Another key area that would-be buyers can study on the day is car finance and understanding the difference between how PCPs (personal contract plans) and hire purchase (HP) work.

“Depending on the level of mileage you do PCPs may not be suitable but they do work for a lot of people. And we’re happy to have those conversations on a case-by-case basis.”

On the subject of range anxiety, Reilly said that infrastructure firms are ramping up to ensure that there are more and more chargers coming to Irish roads. “We are starting to see those pinch points being looked at by operators.

“We’re very lucky in Ireland that around 80% of people have the ability to park on their own property, unlike the UK which is at around 40%. With regard to our cities and housing stock, Ireland is the perfect size for electric vehicles. I’m positive about where are going in terms of infrastructure.”

He pointed out that even countries like Norway that have massive levels of EV ownership, the charging infrastructure isn’t fully in place.

Reilly drove his first electric vehicle five years ago and said that even then there were early adopters long before the current infrastructure appeared. Compared with then the battery technology, the range, the infrastructure and the vehicles have come a long way.

“When you look at the battery technology alone it is moving exponentially. It’s great to be able to bring people together and show them what’s available in the market. In Ireland at the moment a lot of people don’t realise that there are 80 different types of electric vehicles on our roads at present.”

Having an event like the Electric Vehicle Show, he believes, will equip would-be buyers with the knowledge and know-how to make the right purchasing decisions.

“Our advice is to make sure you are going to get the right vehicle that suits your every day need. You need to be smart about the purchase you are making, the battery size you’re selecting and more. So there’s a bit of a journey there but this is an exciting time.”

Main image at top: Derek McDermott and Karen Kennedy from Bank of Ireland with Derek Reilly and Simon Andreucetti from Nevo

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.