Government has put in place several key policies and provided generous incentives to encourage the transition from conventional fossil fuel vehicles towards lower emitting fuels and technologies including electric vehicles (EVs). EVs are a prominent mitigation measure in the Climate Action Plan and Ireland has set an ambitious target of 936,000 EVs on our roads by 2030. This target is very challenging but indicative of the scale of the transformation that is needed across all sectors if Ireland is to reduce national emissions and reach its legally binding emission ceiling in future years.
To date, the Government, has worked to ensure that conditions and policies are in place to support citizens in making greener vehicle choices.
The SEAI grant scheme aims to encourage behavioural change and support the Government’s commitment to achieving a 51% reduction in transport emissions by 2030. The grant schemes are kept under continuous review to ensure that they are as effective as possible in driving the decarbonisation effort.
To date in 2021, almost €65m has been provided in grants to support the purchase of electric cars. By year end, this will represent almost a doubling of supports provided to EVs in 2020.
As a result, the EV percentage of overall car registrations has increased significantly this year and represented over 15% to end Q3 2021, with PHEV registrations representing 7.3% of this and BEV registrations 7.7%. Government is on track as regards the number of vehicles which need to be sold in 2021 to reach its projected annual EV target as set out in the CAP 2019. As of 30 September, there were 45,423 EVs registered in the national fleet.
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. A national charging infrastructure strategy is due for publication early next year which will set out a pathway to stay ahead of demand over the critical period out to 2030.
Preparations are underway to establish an Office of Low Emission Vehicles. This Office will play an important role in our transition to zero emission vehicles. It will co-ordinate measures to support the uptake of EVs and the rollout of charge point infrastructure.
In terms of existing supports for public charging, the Public Charge Point Scheme continues 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 the scheme is to provide support for the installation of infrastructure which will facilitate owners of electric vehicles, who do not have access to a private parking space, but instead rely on parking their vehicles in public places near their homes to charge their EVs.
In 2021, letters of offer have issued to Louth County Council and Dublin City Council under this scheme to install a total of 29 charge points within their administrative areas. The total value of this is €143,038.
In order to maximise the potential of this scheme, my Department will review and amend the terms of the scheme to ensure it appropriately reflects the needs of the Local Authorities and to boost decarbonisation efforts
In addition, a report was published by the CCMA on the provision of guidance to local authorities on the provision of charging infrastructure. The document is available for viewing online at www.lgma.ie/en/publications/general-publications/local-authority-electrification-of-fleet-and-ev-charging-guidance.pdf
€10 million was committed from the Climate Action Fund to support ESB investment in the charging network and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB, with the infrastructure to be in place by the end of 2022. 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
Further details on the progression of this project can be found at esb.ie/ecars/our-network/network-upgrades.