Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ceisteanna (419, 420)

John Brassil

Ceist:

419. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the measures in place to rectify the outage of fast charging points for electric vehicles; the number of these charging points out of service; the timeframe in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41200/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brassil

Ceist:

420. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the issue with the fast charging point for EV vehicles in Killarney, County Kerry will be resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41249/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 419 and 420 together.

The majority of the existing network of publicly accessible charge points was rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme. This network includes circa 80 fast chargers, mainly on national routes. A map showing the charge points, including the status and availability of the charge points, is available on the ESB's website at www.esb.ie/ecars.

The maintenance and repair of these charge points is an operational matter for the ESB. In relation to the out-of-service charge point in Killarney, the ESB has informed my Department that the manufacturer is due to come to Ireland in the coming weeks to visit the charge point. At this point it is expected that the issue will be resolved.

The provision of charging infrastructure is a necessity for the uptake of electric vehicles. In this regard I welcome the publication last month by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities of their approval of ESB Networks' proposal on the future operation and maintenance of the charging network.  This development ensures the continued operation and maintenance of the public charging network by the ESB and provides the certainty electric vehicle users need when purchasing an electric vehicle.

I understand that the ESB has commenced work to resolve the maintenance issues with the public charging network. This includes upgrades and, in the case of those with the highest reliability issues, replacement of public chargers. I am informed that it has replaced 15 standard chargers, constituting 30 charge points as well upgrading seven older fast chargers with newer chargers that can accommodate all three charging types that are in active use in Ireland. The ESB advises me that the uptime of the fleet of fast chargers is in excess of 98% which is very high by international standards.

I would also highlight the role of the Climate Action Fund. The first Call for Applications, which I launched in July, includes provision for supporting electric vehicle charging networks along with a range of other project types. The deadline for applications has now passed and I can confirm that almost 100 applications have been received. An assessment process of these applications is currently underway.