I propose to take Questions Nos. 700, 728 and 729 together.
The Climate Action Plan commits to developing the EV charging network necessary to support the growth of EVs to at least 800,000 by 2030 and set a target for the supply of infrastructure to stay sufficiently ahead of demand. Key Actions in the Climate Action Plan include:
- Commence the ESB Electric Vehicle High Power Charging Infrastructure Development Project, supported by the Climate Action Fund, which will support growth to at least 40,000 electric vehicles
- Include electric vehicle fast chargers as a category eligible for support in the next call for Expressions of Interest from Climate Action Fund
- Expand the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant to include shared parking (e.g. in apartment blocks)
- Carry out an updated needs analysis for fast chargers based on a level of 75,000 electric vehicles by 2022, taking into account market developments.
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. ESB eCars will also contribute an additional €10 million to support the roll out of this initiative.
More than 50 high power charging hubs are being funded on motorway and national road sites. These hubs will be able to charge between two and eight vehicles simultaneously and are capable of providing up to 100 km of electric driving range in as little as six minutes. In addition to the high power charging hubs, up to 50 locations will also see Standard 22kW AC chargers upgraded to 50kW DC fast chargers, providing additional fast charging capacity around the country.
Since the project began in September 2019, ESB has focused on the replacement of aging problematic chargers in the existing network which results in new charging points being established. Over 140 of these chargers have now been replaced and this work is continuing. In addition, two new multi charger sites were delivered, one each in Kilcullen, Kildare (M9) and the Galway Plaza (M6). These locations will be upgraded to include 150kW chargers once this type of charger is made available by the manufacturer with delivery expected in June following an extensive procurement process.
Since October 2019 three Standard AC chargers have been replaced in County Cavan, with a further ten being replaced in Counties Meath (7) and Monaghan (3).
In the last week with the easing of Covid 19 restrictions standard AC chargers in Kells and Cavan Town have been replaced with new DC Fast chargers, providing much higher charging speeds with further installations planned for Sligo Town, Drogheda, Galway City and Kenmare.
There are currently two fast chargers and five Standard AC chargers in County Monaghan. Three of these have recently been replaced. No additional fast chargers are planned for Monaghan in the first stage of this project being rolled out by ESB eCars.
More multi-fast charger sites are currently in the planning phase and will be delivered in the coming months. These sites are being selected based on a range of factors including the level of traffic, current charge point usage (if applicable), electrical grid capacity, site host terms of agreement, rest facilities available, accessibility and the physical space at the site for the required equipment.