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Electric Vehicles

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 March 2021

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Questions (19)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

19. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Transport the number of electric vehicle charging points that will be added in Dublin by the end of 2021. [13745/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Government’s policy regarding the increased usage of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is primarily driven by the Climate Action Plan which sets a target of 936,000 EVs by 2030.

To support these EVs, a network of 690 publicly accessible charge points is already available including circa 100 fast chargers, which are mainly found on national routes. The majority of these chargers have been rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme, with some public chargers being provided by local authorities, retail outlets and private companies. There are currently 160 charge points and 15 fast chargers in Co Dublin.

The Climate Action Fund (CAF) has also allocated up to €10 million to a project from ESB eCars that will further enhance its current network and complete a nationwide EV charging network capable of facilitating large-scale electric vehicle uptake over the next decade. In addition to the CAF project, the Government is also providing support for home charging and on-street charging.

Home charging is considered the primary method of charging for the majority of EVs in Ireland and is a convenient, cost effective and environmentally-friendly means of charging, especially when using night-rate electricity. It accounts for circa 80% of EV charging sessions and will continue to be the primary method of charging in the future. The EV Home Charger Grant Scheme has been in operation since January 2018 to support the installation of home chargers for purchasers of new and second-hand BEVs and PHEVs. The grant provides generous support towards the full cost of installation of a home charger, up to a maximum of €600.

Currently, work is being progressed to expand the EV Home Charger Grant to include shared parking (e.g. in apartment blocks). There are a number of complex planning issues to address before it will be possible to finalise operation of such a grant and the Department and the SEAI are working to address the issues involved.

Since September 2019, the Public Charge Point Scheme has been in place to provide funding to local authorities for 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 those owners of EVs who do not have access to a private parking space but rely on parking their vehicles on public streets to charge their EVs near their homes. Infrastructure installed could also provide the opportunity for people visiting the area to park and charge their EVs.

While several private operators such as Tesla, Ionity & EasyGO are involved in providing charging infrastructure, my Department does not hold information on the location of charging infrastructure which has been installed without government support. I am aware, however, that ESB has partnered with Tesco Ireland to install 22kW Standard AC Chargers at 33 Tesco locations around the country in the last number of months. More than 50 of these are planned in total. The Department is also making €2 million available this year through the SEAI to support the installation of destination charge points in locations such as hotels and shopping centres. This new initiative will help provide another critical link in the overall network for public charging.

In addition, the four Dublin local authorities are currently examining their approach for a network of charging infrastructure in the metropolitan area. The Department is working closely with a number of key stakeholders, including Local Government, to ensure electric vehicle charging infrastructure stays ahead of demand. This includes developing appropriate guidance for local authorities in line with the Programme for Government which will ensure we can continue to expand our national charging network through supports for local authority provided chargers.

Finally, the Deputy will be aware that the Programme for Government published in June last year, commits to publishing an electric vehicles infrastructure strategy. Once completed, the strategy will provide a key framework for ensuring we continue to have sufficient infrastructure in place to keep ahead of demand, while also ensuring that appropriate planning and development guidelines are followed in providing the necessary capacity. It is envisaged that the strategy will be published this year.

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