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Electric Vehicles

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (220)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

220. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport his views on the lack of vehicle charging points, the lack of fast vehicle charging points and the issues regarding vehicle charging points in areas across counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58120/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Deputy will be aware that the Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle charging network over the coming years. A national charging infrastructure strategy is due for publication early next year which will set out a pathway to stay ahead of demand over the critical period out to 2030.

I am also aware that a report was published by the CCMA on the provision of guidance to local authorities on the provision of charging infrastructure. The document is available for viewing online at: www.lgma.ie/en/publications/general-publications/local-authority-electrification-of-fleet-and-ev-charging-guidance.pdf

Preparations are underway to establish an Office of Low Emission Vehicles. This Office will play an important role in our transition to zero emission vehicles. It will co-ordinate measures to support the uptake of EVs and the rollout of charge point infrastructure.

In terms of existing supports for public charging, the Public Charge Point Scheme continues to be available during 2021 to provide local authorities with a grant of up to €5,000 to support the development of on-street public chargers. The primary focus of the scheme is to provide support for the installation of infrastructure which will facilitate owners of electric vehicles, who do not have access to a private parking space, but instead rely on parking their vehicles in public places near their homes to charge their EVs. My Department has committed to reviewing the Scheme later this year to ensure that it is as effective as possible in driving the decarbonisation effort.

Having an effective and reliable recharging network is essential to enabling drivers to choose electric. Charging at home is the most convenient and cheapest way to recharge. Targeting the installation of smart home chargers is a priority as we look to moving towards more energy efficient and sustainable ways to charge. A grant is available from the SEAI for those individuals seeking to install a home charger. Work is currently being progressed to expand the EV home charger grant to include shared parking in apartment blocks and similar developments. My Department is working closely with the SEAI and expects a scheme for apartments to open in the near future.

There is also a need for a seamless public charging network that will provide for situations or instances where home charging is not possible such as on-street and residential charging, destination charging, and workplace charging.

€10 million was committed from the Climate Action Fund to support ESB investment in the charging network and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB, with the infrastructure to be in place by the end of 2022. This intervention alone will result in:

- 90 additional high power chargers, each capable of charging two vehicles

- 52 additional fast chargers, which may replace existing standard chargers

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

Further details on the progression of this project can be found at esb.ie/ecars/our-network/network-upgrades.

In addition to the main network, additional charge points are provided at locations such as places of employment and private car parks. Currently, there are circa 2,000 charge points in Ireland, with this number continuing to grow.

In relation to the three counties that the Deputy has raised, my Department is informed by ESB eCars that its charging network currently includes the following:

- Co Meath has 24 standard charge points, six fast chargers and two high-powered charge points

- Co Monaghan has 8 standard charge points and two fast chargers

- Co Cavan has 10 standard charge points and one fast charger

ESB ecars is to begin works next month to install a high-power charging (HPC) hub in Monaghan.

It has also informed my Department that works to install high-powered charging locations in Trim and Navan, Co. Meath will be completed by mid-2022. ESB ecars is in negotiations with private landowners with regard to the provision of a new HPC hub in Cavan.

The FASTER project is a joint initiative aimed at supporting the installation, by May 2023, of 73 rapid (50kw capacity) EV charging stations across both jurisdictions within Ireland, as well as in Scotland. It has been awarded over €6.4 million from the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme.

The project aims to fund up to 40 fast chargers in various locations on both sides of the Border and it is understood that procurement for this is due to get under way early in 2022. In the Republic, rapid and high-power chargers are to be installed in border and adjacent counties.

My Department is also developing a new scheme which will support the installation of destination charge points in locations such as hotels, visitor centres and parks. This new initiative will help provide another critical link in the overall network for public charging.

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