I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 53 together.
The Climate Action Plan sets out a range of actions to support the delivery of charging infrastructure. These actions include developing the charging network to stay sufficiently ahead of demand and ensuring our regulatory regime for buildings requires the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
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. 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.
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 each of which will be capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously, upgrading 50 existing standard chargers to fast chargers and replacing over 250 existing standard chargers with next generation high reliability models. This is a multi-annual project and is expected to commence this year and be fully completed by 2022.
My Department is also in the process of designing a scheme to provide support to local authorities for the installation of on-street charge points which I expect to be in place later this year.