The Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle (EV) charging network over the coming years. A draft national charging infrastructure strategy for the development of EV charging infrastructure, covering the crucial period out to 2025 was published for consultation in March. The draft strategy sets out the government’s ambition regarding the delivery of a public EV charging network to support up to 194,000 electric cars and vans by the middle of the decade. Responses and submissions received as part of the consultation are currently being considered in the development of the final Strategy for publication.
Preparations are also underway to establish Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland. 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.
Home charging is the primary charging method for most Irish EV owners as it’s convenient and cheaper for the consumer as well assists in the overall management of the national grid. Over 80% of charging is expected to happen at home. This means that the majority of EV users will never need to access the public network except for longer journeys.
A grant is available from the SEAI for those individuals seeking to install a home charger. Work is currently being progressed to expand the EV home charger grant to include shared parking in apartment blocks and similar developments. My Department is working closely with the SEAI and expects a scheme for apartments to open shortly.
There is a need for a seamless public charging network that will provide for situations or instances where home charging is not possible such as non-residential neighbourhood charging, destination charging, and motorway charging.
A significant increase in funding for public charging points will be rolled out in the latter half of this year.
The existing Public Charge Point Scheme continues to be available during 2022 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.
I can confirm to the deputy that Wicklow County Council have to date not drawn down any funding under the current Public Points Scheme.
My Department has reviewed the Scheme and the draft Strategy sets out a number of additional actions to support delivery by local authorities, such as funding capital costs for civil and electrics works, as well as charge point installation, through a new Residential Charging Scheme.
My Department is also developing a new scheme which will support the installation of destination charge points in locations such as visitor centres and parks. This new initiative will help provide another critical link in the overall network for public charging.