Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (81)

Alan Dillon

Ceist:

81. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications his plans for the roll-out of electric charging points in County Mayo (details supplied); the timeline for the roll-out; and if a survey has taken place in County Mayo regarding suitable locations for such charging points. [29517/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

In line with the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan 2019, this Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle charging network over the coming years. There are currently circa 650 standard public charge points and over 100 fast charge stations (the majority of which are operated by the ESB) in Ireland. An interactive map showing ESB charger locations and their status can be found at www.esb.ie/ecars.

We have committed €10 million 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

The high powered and fast chargers will be mainly concentrated on or near national roads and motorways to enable longer journeys to be completed.

Since the delivery stage of the project commenced in October 2019, five 22kW units have been replaced in County Mayo with upgraded chargers.

In addition, the ESB are planning upgrades at Ballina and Westport to replace the existing standard 22kW chargers to fast chargers. More information on these upgrades can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/our-network/high-power-charging-hubs.

The ESB project is due to be completed in 2023.

In addition to the ESB project, my Department also provides support through the SEAI Public Charge Point Scheme which 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 on public streets, to charge their EVs near their homes.  A total of 75% of the capital costs is provided through a grant, up to a maximum of €5,000 per charge point. In parallel, my Department is also developing a charging infrastructure strategy, in line with the Programme for Government, which will ensure capacity keeps ahead of demand while also putting in place guidance for local authorities on how best to expand the network of public charge points at both local and regional level.

Charging 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. 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. 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.