Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ceisteanna (194)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

194. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10303/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The transition to alternatively fuelled vehicles is a necessary step-change for Ireland to effect a substantial reduction in transport emissions. I am very much committed to exploring mechanisms to encourage more individuals to switch to electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, in the National Policy Framework for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland 2017-2030 published last year by my Department, we set a clear ambition that all new cars and vans sold in Ireland from 2030 onwards will be zero emission (or zero emission-capable). (Available at http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/public-transport/english/npf-picture/6186npfalternative-fuelsengv5.pdf. This ambition was reiterated in both the Government's National Mitigation Plan (https://www.dccae.gov.ie/documents/National%20Mitigation%20Plan%202017.pdf) and the recent National Development Plan 2018-2027 (http://www.per.gov.ie/en/national-development-plan-2017-2028/).

In this regard, it may interest the Deputy to know that my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, jointly convened an interdepartmental Low-Emitting Vehicles (LEV) Task Force to consider a wide range of measures and options available to Government for the purpose of accelerating the deployment of low carbon technologies – specifically that of EVs. The work of the Taskforce has been divided into three work streams focusing on: Market Growth Stimuli and Visibility (Working Group 1); Infrastructure, Energy Regulation and Pricing (Working Group 2); and Planning Legislation, Building Regulations and Public Leadership (Working Group 3). Preliminary recommendations from the Taskforce were considered in the 2018 budgetary process and a suite of continued and new EV supports were subsequently announced. A list of current incentives to promote EVs is presented in the table below and is promoted on the SEAI website (https://www.seai.ie/grants/electric-vehicle-grants/). As you will see there is a particular focus on raising public awareness and promoting citizen engagement with EVs.

In terms of the number and location of publicly accessible charging stations, I understand that there are currently c. 1,200 charge points (79 fast chargers) available across the island of Ireland which is among the more comprehensive networks currently in place across Europe. At present the fast charge points are primarily located on corridors that facilitate intercity travel. However, during 2018 Working Groups 2 and 3 of the Taskforce will comprehensively consider the future development of the EV charging network as a key element to support greater EV use. In relation to dedicated parking for EVs, under the Road Traffic Act 1994 it is a matter for each individual local authority to make bye-laws governing the type of paid parking controls in their jurisdictions. However, the role of parking as an incentive is currently under consideration by Working Group 1 of the Taskforce and a series of stakeholder engagements with local authorities have already taken place. The LEV Taskforce expects to report its findings to Government in Q2 2018.

Finally, I was delighted to secure funding as part of Budget 2018 to help encourage the transition of our Taxi/Hackney/Limousine sector towards EVs. This sector can play a vital role in championing the use of EVs to members of the public and in reducing harmful tailpipe emissions, particularly across our urban areas. The grant scheme was launched on February 1st and is administered on behalf of my Department by the National Transport Authority (NTA). This scheme is available nationwide and supports both new and second-hand EVs.

Current Electric Vehicle Incentives

Current Incentives

-

VRT Relief

Continuation of VRT relief in Budget 2018 -

Up to €5,000 for new EVs until end 2021

Up to €2,500 for new PHEVs until end 2018

SEAI Grant Scheme

Continuation of SEAI Purchase Grant -

Up to €5,000 towards the purchase of a new EV or PHEV

Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA)

EVs and charging infrastructure are qualifying equipment under the ACA scheme

Charging Supports

A new grant to support installation of home charger points for buyers of new and second-hand EVs from January 1st

SPSV Grant Scheme

A new grant and supporting measures to stimulate take-up of EVs in the taxi /hackney/limousine sector

0% Benefit-in-Kind (BIK)

A new BIK 0% rate to incentivise EVs without mileage conditions for at least three years

Public Body Procurement

National Procurement Service to introduce a new public procurement framework contract for EVs in 2018 to allow public bodies to buy EVs with reduced administrative burden

Public Engagement Programme

National awareness campaign

Driver experience roadshow

Public sector and commercial fleet trials

Support for EV use in car sharing trials

Toll Incentive Regime

A reduced tolling regime for EVs is expected to be introduced in 2018.