I propose to take Questions Nos. 688 and 714 together.
To date no issues have been brought to the attention of my Department that require changes to building or planning regulations in respect of fire prevention in car parks in which electric vehicles are to be parked.
In relation to planning, the current planning system supports the roll out of electric vehicles. The development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is exempt from planning permission under Section 4(1)(h) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, where development does not materially affect the external appearance of the structure and must be installed by an undertaker authorised to provide an electricity service. The exemption relates to removing the requirement to obtain planning permission only. Works being undertaken to install infrastructure for LEV charging/refuelling also must comply with the requirements of the building regulations.
The building regulations are subject to ongoing review in the interests of safety and the well-being of persons in the built environment and to ensure that due regard is taken of changes in construction techniques, technological progress and innovation. Part B – Volume 1 of the Fire Safety Technical Guidance Document (TGD) which deals with buildings other than dwellings is currently under review and will be the subject of a public consultation process in the coming months. Provisions in respect of buildings comprising or containing car parking will form part of the review.
The revised EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) contains new provisions which aim to accelerate deployment of electric vehicles. Article 8 requires the provision of appropriate infrastructure, to enable the installation at a later stage of recharging points for electric vehicles, for new residential buildings and residential buildings undergoing major renovation, by 2020. It also requires Member States to lay down requirements for the installation of a minimum number of recharging points for all non-residential buildings with more than 20 parking spaces, by 2025. This will be implemented in regulation by my Department by March 2020. The draft regulations required will be the subject of a public consultation process in the coming months.
The national specification for installation of recharging points is being developed by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and a draft specification is undergoing a public consultation process at present.