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Electric or hybrid for my 100km commute?


I am currently driving from Limerick to Kilarney five days a week for work and driving a diesel BMW 5 Series. I am looking at the option of electric or hybrid and would really appreciate any advice on which may be a better option for these type of journeys.

Brian Lawlor (Limerick)

Mar 2022 Filed under: choosing new car

Expert answer

Hi Brian,

A diesel car is quite well-suited to that journey still, as it's over 100 kilometres each way, but we can understand why you might be looking to 'electrify'.

First up, I think we can disregard plug-in hybrids for your needs. None of them have an all-electric range to do a full journey from Limerick to Killarney - or vice versa - even if you could plug it in before heading back the other way again. That would make it potentially quite inefficient overall for you.

A regular hybrid might work depending on your driving style. The N21, which I assume you use, is quite a busy road, so average speeds aren't very high, but some drivers do make the effort to overtake slower traffic and keep their average speed up. If you're the type to amble along with the flow of traffic, then a hybrid might get close to your diesel's economy. If you tend to rush and do lots of overtaking, it won't.

Depending on your budget and situation, I think an electric car would be a good option. There are loads of models with official ranges in excess of 400km now and even allowing for a deterioration of that due to higher speeds and cold temperatures, they'll all likely cover the return journey from Limerick to Killarney and back with little trouble. You could top up the battery if you need to in Killarney, but the vast majority of your charging could be done each night at home. That is of course assuming that you have off-street parking and somewhere to install an electric charger. That's key to EV ownership.

If you don't quite need the space of the 5 Series, but like the BMW brand, I'd highly recommend the BMW i4

Other than that, check out our list of every electric car currently on sale in Ireland for ideas - and feel free to come back to us to discuss this further. 

Either way, drop us a message to let us know what you decided to do

Shane O' Donoghue - Complete Car Advisor

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