Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (224)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

224. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps he will take to address the perceived inadequate electric car charging infrastructure in Dublin city; and his plans to ensure that Dublin City Council and the ESB co-operate to provide designated charging bays in view of the fact that these are frequently used for regular parking and therefore not available for charging. [51466/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

A key aspect of the work of the Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce, co-chaired by my Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, involved examining how best to support the development of the electric vehicle charging. The first phase of the Taskforce's work, which focused on electric vehicles, is now complete and the progress report is available on my Department’s website.

  Arising out of the work of the Taskforce a support scheme is in place to support electric vehicle charging at home, the primary method of charging for the majority of electric vehicles both internationally and in Ireland. My Department, in conjunction with the SEAI, is working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging.

The majority of the existing network of publicly accessible charge points was rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme. An interactive map showing the locations of charging points in Dublin and throughout Ireland is available at https://www.esb.ie/our-businesses/ecars/charge-point-map. I announced the successful projects under the first Call for Applications Assessment Stage under the Climate Action Fund on 28 November 2018.  This included approval of funding of up to €10 million to a project from ESB eCars that will develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging network capable of facilitating large-scale electric vehicle uptake over the next decade. Further details on this project, and the other projects approved from the Fund, are available on my Department's website at www.dccae.gov.ie.

In relation to dedicated parking for electric vehicles, the Road Traffic Act, 1994 gives local authorities the power to make bye-laws governing the type of paid parking controls in their areas. Some local authorities currently allow free designated parking for a period of time while an electric vehicle is charging. 

Under regulations introduced in July 2014, local authorities, in their capacity as road authorities, are empowered to reserve parking spaces exclusively for the recharging of electric vehicles and it is an offence for other vehicles to be parked in these spaces. The penalty for illegal parking in such a space is a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence, up to €2,000 for a second or subsequent offence, and up to €2,000 and/or up to 3 months in prison for a third or subsequent offence within a 12 month period. The enforcement of this legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána and for Local Authority traffic wardens. If a member of the public comes across specific instances of vehicles other than electric vehicles parked in designated recharging spaces, I would urge them to report the fact to either of these bodies.

With respect to signage at charging bays there is legally-sanctioned signage for electric vehicle charge points. The signage consists of writing on the surface of the space itself, rather than an upright sign. This is line with certain other signage used, for example for disabled parking spaces, where a sign is painted on the ground. The ESB has informed my Department that the majority of the eCars 56 on-street charge points in Dublin city are clearly marked with this signage.