At 2,500km, the Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route. It hugs its way down the rugged west coast of Ireland from Malin Head in County Donegal – Ireland’s most northernly point – to colourful Kinsale town in County Cork. Along the journey you’ll pass historic lighthouses and castles, quaint villages and homesteads, breathtaking sea cliffs and much, much more.
It’s the road trip of a lifetime; an electric experience... in more way’s than one. You see, it’s now possible to drive the Wild Atlantic Way in an electric car! Ireland knows a thing or two about going green, so it should come as no surprise to find out that the island is now dotted with thousands of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, with hundreds located on this most exhilarating of road adventures.
So, let’s get all charged up and ready to go. Here’s how to travel sustainably along the Wild Atlantic Way.
We did the Wild Atlantic Way in a Tesla.Conrad Oppermann, Creative Director at Maverick Social
Dromoland Castle, County Clare © Shutterstock
EV charging stations
Ireland has really revved up its installation of EV charging stations in recent years. The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) lists 1,500 (and growing) charge points around the island on their Charge Point Map. Download their app and you can see the public charging network in real-time. It’s quick and easy to register, pay and charge on the go.
The Irish Electric Vehicle Association (IEVA) provides a comprehensive list of public charging providers which includes privately-owned companies such as EasyGo and ePower.
Of course, the best place to charge your car is at your accommodation, so that your car can rest and recharge while you do! Luxury castle hotels are a safe bet for charging stations, so check out Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ballynahinch Castle in County Galway and Dromoland Castle in County Clare.
Tripadvisor offers a filter for properties with charge points along the Wild Atlantic Way, ranging from the aforementioned pricier retreats, to more affordable options including Hotel Killarney in County Kerry and Ballycannon Lodge in County Limerick.
The choice is yours, and with Ireland’s Travel Trade Network noting that only 2.16 charges are required to complete the Wild Atlantic Way in an electric vehicle, you have plenty of scope in terms of where to stay, as you’ll only have to charge up a couple of times.
Doo Lough valley, County Mayo © Conrad Oppermann, Creative Director at Maverick Social
A Tesla road trip
But don’t just take our word for it. Conrad Oppermann, Creative Director at Maverick Social, and his friends drove the Wild Atlantic Way in a fully electric Tesla Model X and documented their incredible journey!
As the group travelled from Donegal – a Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2024 winner – to Dingle, they “felt the power of the Atlantic Ocean, took in the spectacular landscape and most importantly, had an enormous amount of craic!”
As Conrad says, thanks to “Ireland’s growing infrastructure of charging stations, range anxiety is a thing of the past.” The gang drove through a foggy Gap of Dunloe in County Kerry, Mayo’s majestic Doo Lough valley, and even used what is possibly Europe’s most westerly electric vehicle charging point at Gielty’s pub on Achill Island, also in County Mayo. A super-charged adventure if ever there was one.
Wild Atlantic wonders
If you’re all about driving on curvy clifftop roads and nipping along vast coastal stretches, then there are several spots you should put into the sat nav on this trip.
The Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal includes Ireland’s most northernly point at Malin Head. It’s a land of jagged sea cliffs, remote beaches and tasty seafood eateries. It’s so far north, you might even see the Northern Lights when driving at night! Further south, the Ring of Kerry is a famously scenic loop that takes in everything from the beauty of Killarney National Park to the breathtaking Moll’s Gap mountain pass.
Off the road, Galway and Limerick are two of the must-see cities on the west coast. In Galway, it’s all about taking in the cool bohemian vibes as you stroll down bustling cobbled streets from the Latin Quarter to the Spanish Arch. In Limerick, attractions old and new will draw you in, whether it’s the 1,000-year-old King John’s Castle or the recently opened International Rugby Experience.
You can golf on internationally renowned links courses, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, surf BIG Atlantic waves, relax in charming towns and villages, and savour a food and drink scene that champions fresh local produce straight from farms and the sea. The open road is calling...
Ring of Kerry, County Kerry © Shutterstock
Road trip advice
Here are a few key things to note before you start your engine and get going. Find out more about renting a car in Ireland with our handy guide – numerous car hire companies offer electric vehicle rental in Ireland.
Our useful page on driving in Ireland will help you master everything from motorways to winding country lanes in no time.
You’re all set! Driving along the picturesque west coast of Ireland in an electric car is a bucket list item to cherish forever. It’s one of our 5 ways to travel the Wild Atlantic Way. Maybe you’ll be back to tick the other four off your list, who knows...