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Defence Forces

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (379)

Duncan Smith

Ceist:

379. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Defence the cost of purchasing petrol and diesel for Defence Forces vehicles in 2019 and 2020; the number of electric vehicles; the number of electric vehicle charging points in Defence Forces installations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29675/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The acquisition of new equipment and the upgrading of equipment for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for the Defence Organisation. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are considered in the context of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment priorities planning process.

In this context the principal aim over the period of the White Paper is to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements at home and overseas. Budget 2021 provides a Capital allocation of €131m for investment in Defence equipment and barracks infrastructure and will enable continued investment in major equipment platforms such as Defence Forces vehicle fleet. The increased capital funding for 2021 builds on increased levels of capital expenditure totalling €392m over the years 2018 – 2020.

Certain purchasing is carried out by the Defence Forces directly under delegation of financial responsibility which permits the Defence Forces to procure a wide range of goods and services directly, this includes the purchasing of non-armoured vehicles and fuel for the entire fleet.

I am advised by the military authorities that the total cost (inclusive of VAT) of purchasing petrol and diesel for the Defence Forces fleet of vehicles in the years in question is as set out in the table below.

Year

Diesel

Petrol

Total

2019

€2,423,915.65

€28,178.83

€2,452,094.48

2020

€1,797,550.62

€19,897.71

€1,817,448.33

I am further advised by the military authorities that the Defence Forces vehicle fleet currently consists of approximately 1,700 individual vehicles of different types and configurations. Of this number there are currently forty one (41) electric powered vehicles (EVs) and three (3) hybrid vehicles.

The table below gives the full breakdown of the forty four vehicles by vehicle type and year of purchase.

Table 1: Breakdown of Defence Forces electric and hybrid vehicles by vehicle type and date of purchase

Vehicle Type

Year of Purchase

Saloon

Forklift

Stores Vehicle

Electric Buggy

2002

2

2005

3

2008

2

2013

3

2016

1

2017

1

2018

1

2019

3 (hybrid)

2020

8

11

2021

8

1

Total

16 + 3 (hybrid)

12

1

12

The Defence Forces maintain two fleets of vehicles; the military fleet and the administrative fleet. The military fleet, which consists of military specific vehicles such as armoured vehicles, trucks and off-road SUVs, comprises approximately 55% of the fleet. The administrative fleet are vehicles that can be purchased commercially such as saloon, stores vehicles and minibuses. They comprise approximately 45% of the Defence Forces fleet.

In line with Government policy in relation to the Clean Vehicle Directive, the Defence Forces are committed to procuring vehicles that have reduced carbon emissions.

Due to the specific nature and requirements of the military fleet of vehicles and the locations where they are likely to operate, these vehicles are Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) type and will be replaced, as required, with fossil fuel ICE vehicles for the reasons outlined above. The Defence Forces, however, endeavours to replace these ICE vehicles with more energy efficient models where possible. For example, the new SUV and Troop Carrying Vehicle (TCV) fleets will be replaced with EURO 6 compliant engines which will result in a 50% reduction in emissions compared to the older EURO 3 engines which they replace.

The Defence Forces has committed to replacing the administrative fleet with energy efficient (green vehicles) as the technology allows. To date the investment in energy efficient vehicles as outlined in Table 1 above amounts to €1.2m inclusive of VAT. The Defence Forces has committed to spend a minimum of 6% of the DF vehicle replacement budget on EV starting in 2020 and a minimum of 8% in 2021, with a commitment to increase investment by a minimum of 2% of budget each subsequent year. Already in 2021 the Defence Forces have taken delivery of eight (8) EV saloons and an electric buggy. A further eight (8) EV stores vehicles have been ordered with delivery expected in Q2.

The Corps of Engineers have also invested in supporting infrastructure with the installation of 19 EV chargers across 16 Defence Forces locations to sustain the enlargement of the Defence Forces Electric Vehicle fleet into the future.

I am satisfied that, with these new acquisitions and the planning for future clean vehicle procurements, the Defence Forces will continue to have the necessary modern and effective range of equipment available to them in order to fulfil all roles assigned to them by Government.

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