Providing adequate charging infrastructure is critical to ensure continued growth in electric vehicles.
Home charging is the most cost-effective way to charge an electric vehicle and is the primary method of charging for the majority of electric vehicles both internationally and in Ireland. A Government grant of up to €600 is available, via the SEAI, to the purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles to support the installation of home chargers.
There are currently over 650 standard public charge points and 78 fast chargers as a part of the ESB eCars network. In addition there are public chargers provided by local authorities, retail outlets and private companies.
Figures provided to my Department by ESB eCars, indicates that there are currently 16 publically available standard charge points and four fast charge points on the eCars network in Co Clare.
Under the first call for applications from the Climate Action Fund, I approved funding of up to €10 million to support ESB eCars to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network. The project includes the installation of 90 high-power chargers, upgrading 50 existing standard chargers to fast chargers and replacing over 250 existing standard chargers with next generation high reliability models.
At the end of 2018, there were over 7,600 electric vehicles on the road in Ireland – a doubling of the total from the previous year. It is estimated that the implementation of the ESB eCars project will provide the necessary fast charging infrastructure to support at least 40,000 electric vehicles.
This project successfully completed the assessment stage and the validation stage is now underway. On completion of this stage further detail on the project, including information in relation to the location of chargers and a timeline, will be set out.
Funding for public charging in local communities is available through the Better Energy Communities Scheme. The scheme, which is administered by the SEAI, supports community-based partnerships, many of which include local businesses and enterprises. In addition, my Department, in conjunction with the SEAI, is working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging.