Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (201)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

201. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications the number of new public EV charging points for which funding was requested; the number approved; the number of upgraded public EV charging points for which funding was requested; the number approved in the past year by each local authority in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27076/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

The Public Charge Point Scheme has been in place since September 2019 to provide funding to local authorities for the development of on-street public chargers. The primary focus of this scheme is to provide support for the installation of infrastructure which will facilitate owners of EVs, who do not have access to a private parking space but rely on parking their vehicles in public places near their homes, to charge their EVs.

My Department, via the SEAI, currently provides a grant of up to €5,000 to support the installation of these charge points. Since the launch of the scheme, the SEAI has received requests from twelve local authorities for applications under the scheme with two completed applications, (Louth County Council and Dublin City Council), currently being assessed for approval, to install a total of 24 charge points within their respective jurisdictions. In addition, the four Dublin local authorities are examining their approach for a network of charging infrastructure in the metropolitan area.

While Covid has introduced significant delays with respect to progressing supports under the scheme I expect interest in the scheme to intensify as we continue on into the recovery phase of the pandemic. Local Government has been to the forefront in recent times in addressing the climate challenge and the sector will have a key role to play in helping to decarbonise our national fleet through facilitating the provision of EV charging infrastructure in appropriate locations at both the local and regional level. 

In this regard it should be noted that my Department is working closely with a number of key stakeholders, including Local Government, on developing a strategy to ensure electric vehicle charging infrastructure stays ahead of demand. This includes developing appropriate guidance for local authorities in line with the Programme for Government and will ensure we can continue to expand our national charging network through the relevant SEAI supports for on street chargers.   

The Government is fully committed to supporting this programme and the other supports it has made available for the roll out of EVs so as to ensure we meet  our ambitious commitments as set out in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan.

In this regard, €10 million has been committed from the Climate Action Fund to promote the charging network and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB. This intervention alone will result in:

- 90 additional high power chargers (150kW), each capable of charging two vehicles

- 52 additional fast chargers (50kW), which may replace existing 22 kW standard chargers

- 264 replacement standard chargers (22kW) with more modern technology and with each consisting of two charge points

Since the delivery stage of the project commenced in October 2019, 159 22kW chargers, each with two charge points, have been replaced bringing the total number of these chargers nationally to 318. Three multi charger sites have also been delivered, while the programme to upgrade 22kW chargers to 50kW has already commenced with 10 installations now in place. More information on these upgrades can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/our-network/high-power-charging-hubs.

Combined with an effective public charging network, Ireland's home charging policy will help sustain and service the expected growth of electric vehicles on Irish roads. Charging while at home accounts for around 80% of electric vehicle charging in Ireland and it is best practice, internationally, to promote home charging as the most common and cheapest form of charging. To support home charging, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), on behalf of my Department, administers an EV Home Charger Grant of up to €600 towards the purchase and installation of an EV home charger unit.