Providing adequate charging infrastructure is critical to ensure the continued growth in the uptake of electric vehicles.
There are currently 668 standard public charge points as a part of the ESB eCars Network and a limited number provided by local authorities and retail outlets. There are also 77 fast chargers, mainly on national routes.
Under the first call for applications from the Climate Action Fund, I approved funding of up to €10 million to support ESB eCars to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network.
The project successfully completed the assessment stage and is now going through the validation stage. On completion of this stage further detail on the project, including information in relation to the location of chargers and a timeline, will be set out.
The key elements of the project include:
- Six high speed charging hubs on motorways capable of charging eight vehicles simultaneously
- 16 high speed charging hubs capable of charging four vehicles simultaneously
- Additional high power chargers at 34 current fast charger locations
- Upgrading 50 standard chargers to fast chargers
- Replacing up to 264 standard chargers (totalling 528 charge points) to next generation high reliability models.
At the end of 2017, there were 3,799 electric vehicles (including battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) on the road in Ireland. This increased to 7,647 at the end of 2018 – a doubling of the number of electric vehicles on the road. It is estimated that the implementation of the ESB eCars project will provide the necessary fast charging infrastructure to support at least 40,000 electric vehicles.