Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2508)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

2508. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of State-owned emergency and rescue vehicles versus the number of leased privately owned emergency and rescue vehicles here, in tabular form; his plans to address the minimal quantity of State-owned emergency and rescue electric vehicles that have been dispatched to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34507/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The detail below provides an answer to the information requested by the Deputy in relation to the number of State-owned emergency and rescue vehicles versus the number of privately-owned emergency and rescue vehicles in tabular form and the plan to address the minimal quantity of State-owned emergency and rescue electric vehicles that have been dispatched to date.

Number of Emergency and Rescue Vehicles Taxed at 30th June 2019

Taxation Class

State Owned

Non State Owned

Total

Emergency Service Vehicle

926

70

996

Emergency Rescue Vehicle

43

115

158

Total

969

185

1,154

Points to Note on these figures:-

- The Non-State owned vehicles includes both private companies and organisations partially funded by the state e.g. Red Cross.

- Garda cars are not included in the above, they are classified as state owned but not emergency.

- We cannot give details on whether these vehicles are leased or not as we do not hold this information in the database.

The whole-of Government Climate Action Plan clearly recognises that Ireland must significantly step up its commitments to tackle climate disruption. The transport sector, which accounts for about 20% of Ireland’s overall carbon emissions, must play a central role in the national decarbonisation effort. The national car fleet accounts for over half of all land transport emissions, and so a transition to low emission vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), is a necessary step-change to effect a substantial reduction in transport emissions.

In order to expedite the deployment of low emitting vehicles an inter-Departmental Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce was jointly established by my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to consider a full suite of potential measures available to Government. Phase 1 of the Taskforce concentrated on EVs; the important leadership role that Public Bodies and Government Departments can play in encouraging LEV uptake was examined. The Taskforce recommended the introduction of a new public procurement framework for EVs by 2020 and this recommendation was echoed in the Climate Action Plan (Action 149). The Office of Government Procurement is now developing a direct drawdown mechanism to allow public sector bodies to purchase an EV with a reduced administrative burden. It is expected that this measure will promote greater uptake of EVs in the State vehicle fleet, significantly reducing corresponding automotive emissions.

It is important to state that due to certain operational requirements and the specific nature of the work involved, it is not always possible to transition some State vehicles to lower emitting alternatives. As technologies develop and a greater range of purpose-specific low emitting vehicles expands it is expected that more feasible alternatives will become commercially available. At that point, all options will be considered when procuring vehicles within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with low emitting alternatives being favoured.

I would like to reassure the Deputy that I will continue to work closely with Ministers Bruton and Donohoe and their respective Departments to map out the new policy pathway that will be necessary to ensure that Ireland and the State are well positioned to make the transition to low emission vehicles as efficiently and rapidly as possible.