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Electric Vehicles

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 March 2021

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Questions (57, 81, 115, 305, 352, 357)

Richard Bruton

Question:

57. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Transport if he will take steps to accelerate the roll-out of the promised enhanced electric vehicle charging network. [1494/21]

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Steven Matthews

Question:

81. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Transport the number of electric vehicle stations installed across the country by local authority since August 2019, when his predecessor launched the five-year plan for increasing public electric vehicle charging points; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13106/21]

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Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

115. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport his plans to increase the availability of public fast charging points for electric cars on all national roads, including in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1820/21]

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Neale Richmond

Question:

305. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport the progress made in the installation of electric vehicle charging points throughout Ireland; the target for the number of charging points to be installed in 2021; the number installed to date in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14630/21]

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Neale Richmond

Question:

352. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport the steps he has taken to ensure that owners of apartments will be permitted to install electric vehicle chargers in their parking spaces at their own cost; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14559/21]

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Richard Bruton

Question:

357. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Transport if he will take steps to encourage the motor industry to accelerate its roll-out of the promised enhanced electric vehicle charging network and require it to report quarterly on the scale of the network it is supporting. [1502/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57, 81, 115, 305, 352 and 357 together.

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

To support this EV transition, 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. 

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.

The Climate Action Fund/eCars investment alone will result in: 

- 90 additional high power chargers, each capable of charging two vehicles 

- 52 additional fast chargers, which may replace existing standard chargers 

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

The project is due to be completed in 2022.   

Further details on ESB charge points nationwide can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/charge-point-map and further details on this project can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/our-network/network-upgrades.

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. 

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 to expand the grant in this way and the Department and the SEAI are working to address the issues involved.  

On new builds, it should be noted that the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires member states to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is installed in all new residential and non-residential buildings, as well as those buildings with more than ten car parking spaces. This is currently being transposed into Irish law. 

The Public Charge Point Scheme has been in place since September 2019 and will continue to be available during 2021 to provide local authorities with a grant of up to €5,000 per charger to support the development of on-street public chargers. The primary focus of this scheme is to provide support for the installation of infrastructure that can 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 requests from 13 local authorities for applications under the scheme and two completed applications from Louth County Council and Dublin City Council to install a total of 29 charge points within their administrative areas. These applications are currently being assessed for approval.  

My Department is working closely with key stakeholders, including local government, to ensure electric vehicle charging infrastructure stays ahead of demand. This includes helping to develop appropriate guidance for local authorities to facilitate the expansion of the national public charging network using the supports available. I would also note that the four Dublin local authorities are currently examining a combined approach to developing a network of charging infrastructure across the metropolitan area. 

Furthermore, my Department is 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. My Department is working closely with the SEAI and other stakeholders to develop a scheme, which is envisaged to open for applications later this year. 

Finally, the Deputies will be aware that the Programme for Government published in June last year, commits to publishing an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy. Once completed, the strategy will provide a key framework for ensuring sufficient infrastructure to keep ahead of demand. I expect the strategy to be completed and published later this year.

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