Funding to support the rollout by local authorities of up to 1,000 on-street public charge points for electric vehicles over the next five years has been welcomed by Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea.
This week, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, launched a new scheme for on-street charge points for electric vehicles, which will support the widespread rollout of electric vehicles.
The Climate Action Plan, launched by Minister Bruton earlier this year, commits to a target of 936,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030. Commenting this week, Cllr. O’Shea said ensuring there is the necessary infrastructure in place to support this step up is crucial.
“The Government is investing in this network to give people confidence to make the switch. Now is the time to make the change. This network, along with the investment ESB are making in new high-speed chargers and the renewal of existing chargers, is building a strong network that vehicle owners can trust.”
“There is significant growth in the number of electric vehicles taking to the road. This year alone there are 5,000 extra electric vehicles on the road bringing the total to over 12,500 (plug in hybrid and fully electric),” Cllr. O’Shea said.
Minister Bruton said: “Under the Climate Action Plan we will introduce the necessary actions to increase renewable electricity to 70% by 2030. By increasing the amount of electricity we get from renewable sources, we will further improve the positive impact such vehicles have on the environment.
“Increasing the number of electric vehicles, in particular where battery electric vehicles replace older diesel vehicles, will also have a very beneficial impact on air quality, as battery electric vehicles do not produce any fumes.”
This announcement will build on the 90 new high-speed chargers (which charge at three times the power of fast chargers), 50 new fast chargers and over 500 upgraded charge points which will be supported under the Climate Action Fund. This will ensure that we build a network of circa 2,000 reliable public charge points nationwide by 2025, which will be enough to support a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road. In addition, we will introduce new regulations to require non-domestic buildings with over 20 car parking spaces to install charging facilities.
Local Authorities, who are responsible for the provision of an extensive range of services in their own administrative areas, are ideally placed to identify the most suitable locations for installing these new charge points.
Increasing the number of on-street charge points will allow those who do not have a driveway access to a charge point. This will remove a key barrier to the uptake of electric vehicles. Charge points may be located where public parking is provided on-street or in Local Authority car parks. In many cases, on-street charge points may be integrated with street lighting in a single lamppost.
This support will complement the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant, which is a grant of up to €600 that is currently available to purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles to support the installation of chargers in homes with dedicated parking spaces. The Department is currently examining options to expand the scheme to support the installation of chargers in residential buildings with private shared parking (e.g. apartments) and expects to have a support in place early in 2020.