The Government's EV Grant Scheme for certain vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 75 g/km was launched in April 2011. The objective of the 2-year scheme is to incentivise and support, through grants of up to €5,000, the early deployment of electric and other low emission vehicles in Ireland in order to provide an early critical mass of such vehicles and to encourage the growth of a stable and robust market for these vehicles.
The ESB is currently rolling out smart charge points on a nationwide pilot basis. These charge points can interact with electric vehicles and can provide features such as real time electricity prices as well as being able to collect useful data that will be used to inform future decisions relating to the deployment of charging infrastructure. The ESB are also involved in a number of research projects such as Ecars trial and Green eMotion, which is a major EU electric vehicle project. More details on these projects can be found at www.esb.ie/electric-cars/electric-car-charging/electric-car-research-trials.jsp.
In addition, in January 2011, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) along with the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs launched a pilot programme to investigate the potential for Electric Vehicles to store and manage available wind and ocean power. The project involves the deployment of eight Electric Vehicles on the Aran Islands which are being monitored over a three year period.
SEAI have also supported 8 Commercial EV demonstration projects. The vehicles have completed 1 year of service and the results of these trials will be communicated to prospective EV customers via SEAI's website and industry networks. There are also a number of other research projects on electric transport, involving Irish academic institutions and industry, which are being part funded by the European Union under the FP7 programme.