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Electric Vehicles

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 17 June 2021

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Questions (194)

Neale Richmond

Question:

194. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport the status of the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29417/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Deputy will be aware that the Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle charging network over the coming years.

€10 million was committed from the Climate Action Fund (CAF) to support ESB investment in the charging network and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB. This intervention 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

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 a number of Tesco locations around the country. More than 50 of these are planned in total.

My Department is also making €2 million available this year through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to support the installation of destination charge points in locations such as hotels and parks. This new initiative will help provide another critical link in the overall network for public charging.

In addition to the ESB project, 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 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 donot have access to a private parking space but rely on parking their vehicles in public places near their homes, to charge their EVs.

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 while at home accounts for around 80% of electric vehicle charging in Ireland and it is best practice, internationally, to promote home charging as the most common and cheapest form of charging. To support home charging, the 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.

Work is currently being progressed to expand the EV home charger grant to include shared parking in apartment blocks and similar developments. However, there are a number of complex planning issues to address before we can expand the grant in an appropriate manner so as to include the required categories of shared parking. My Department is working closely with the SEAI and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to address the issues.

The Programme for Government published in June last year, commits to publishing an electric vehicles infrastructure strategy to facilitate the uptake of these EVs. 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 later this year.

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