Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Questions (99)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

99. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications his plans to increase the number of electric vehicle chargers for public use in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1659/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

In line with the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan 2019, this Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle charging network over the coming years.

There are currently circa 650 standard public charge points and over 100 fast charge stations in Ireland (the majority of which are operated by the ESB). There are several public chargers in Co. Louth, including standard chargers in Dundalk, Blackrock and Drogheda amonst others  and  fast chargers at the Northbound and Southbound M1 motorway services in Castlebellingham. An interactive map showing ESB charger locations and their status can be found at www.esb.ie/ecars.

In addition, we have committed €10 million from the Climate Action Fund to promote the charging network across Ireland and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB. This intervention alone will result in:

- 90 additional high power chargers (150kW), each capable of charging two vehicles

- 52 additional fast chargers (50kW), which may replace existing 22 kW standard chargers

- 264 replacement standard chargers (22kW) with more modern technology and with each consisting of two charge points

The high powered and fast chargers will be mainly concentrated on or near national roads and motorways to enable longer journeys to be completed. There has been two locations in Co Louth in which standard chargers have been replaced with fast chargers which include Bolton Square Public Car Park, Bolton Street, Drogheda and Public Car Park, Rampart Lane, Dundalk Co Louth.

More information on these upgrades can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/our-network/high-power-charging-hubs.

My Department also supports the Public Charge Point Scheme which is administered through the SEAI and which will continue to be available during 2021 to provide local authorities with a grant of up to €5,000 to support the development of on-street public chargers. The primary focus of this scheme is to provide support for the installation of infrastructure which will facilitate owners of electric vehicles (EVs), who do not have access to a private parking space but rely on parking their vehicles in public places near their homes, to charge their EVs.    To date no chargers have been installed by local authorities under the scheme. The SEAI has, however, received a  completed application from Louth County Council to install 20 charge points. This application is currently being assessed for approval.                                                                

Combined with an effective public charging network, Ireland's home charging policy will help sustain and service the expected growth of electric vehicles on Irish roads. Charging at home accounts for around 80% of electric vehicle charging in Ireland and to support home charging, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), on behalf of my Department, administers an EV Home Charger Grant of up to €600 towards the purchase and installation of an EV home charger unit.